Dear Gyrini,

During these strange times, don’t you just wish to get away sometimes? Get on a really big boat (like the song of Lonely Island) and just sail away! But are you sure you know everything about the ocean and the creepy creatures that live there? We’re happy to broaden your knowledge with some strange facts.

First, let’s dive into (yes our first bad pun) the bizarre sea life. 94% of all life on Earth is aquatic, but roughly 2/3 has not yet been discovered. New species are constantly being discovered and these are always puzzling. Every year a top 10 of new species are published and this year there is a red seahorse on the list which despite its quite large size (24 cm) and bright red color was never found before.

Now, let’s dive a little bit deeper into the lakes and rivers that exist underwater. When seawater seeps through thick layers of salt, the salt will dissolve and form a depression on the bottom of the sea. The dissolved salt thickens the water in those places, which makes it stay in the depressions. These lakes and rivers even have banks and waves, just like the lakes and rivers we know from the land.

Did you know that the largest known waterfall on Earth is between Greenland and Iceland? Pretty neat right? But did you also know that this waterfall is underwater? The Denmark Strait Cataract is no less than 3500 meters high (or deep). The water falls from 600m to 4000m depth. It is the result of the temperature difference on both sides of the Denmark Strait. The colder, denser water from the east meets the warmer, less-dense water from the west. When both water masses collide, the denser water flows under the warm and lighter water, causing a tremendous downward flow.

Corals are one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth. They are threatened by warming water, acidifying oceans, pollution, and human activity. However, corals also have ingenious protection; Australian corals from the Great Barrier Reef have developed a protective barrier to survive in the sun. Scientists are now trying to emulate this natural sun protection in a new generation of sun creams!

Are you a bit tight in money since you may have shopped a little bit too much online? Don’t worry, there is plenty of gold to find in the ocean. More than 20 million tons of dissolved gold can be found in the water. Even the ocean floors contain a lot of gold. However, since it is encased in rocks 2 to 3 km below the seabed, it is not economically interesting to mine this gold.

We hope we have informed you enough to book your next trip to the ocean! Let’s hope now that will be possible soon.

The Onderwijscie

For more facts, click here