Have you ever wondered how deep is the ocean at its deepest point? Although the ocean floor is not flat, the deepest documented location is 11,033 meters.
In this article we show you an animation that will help you understand the depth of the ocean and interesting facts about the deepest points found and where they are.
Today, the average depth of the ocean is estimated to be 2.32 miles.
However, due to the vastness of the ocean, it might be hard to imagine how deep it is.
For this reason, the following animation by Rob Ludacer for Tech Insider helps us to understand better, through different comparisons.
The first person to calculate the average depth of the ocean was the French scientist Pierre Simon Laplace. By observing the tides he was able to estimate the average depth at 3,962m or 2.46 miles.
Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, with the Pacific Ocean being the largest.
This animation puts the actual distance into perspective, showing a vast distance between the waves we see and the mysterious point called Challenger Deep.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the deepest ocean trench?
- 2 So, what is the Challenger Deep?
- 3 The 5 deepest points of the oceans
- 4 How deep in the ocean can humans go? (Video)
- 5 Just how Deep does the ocean go?
- 6 Is there life deep in the ocean?
- 7 What other animals live in deepest area?
- 8 Why can’t a diver reach the bottom of the sea?
- 9 Summary – How deep is the ocean ?
- 10 References
What is the deepest ocean trench?
Near the island of Guam, north of the Philippines, is the Mariana Trench. It has a documented depth of 11,033 meters and is known as the deepest place in the ocean.
The trench also has a length of 2,542 meters, which makes it one of the largest trenches on the planet.
Just to get a better idea of how deep the Marianas’ trench is, it’s enough to note that its 11 kilometers below sea level, exceeding the altitude of Mount Everest by more than 2 thousand meters, the highest elevation above the sea level.
The seabed is as complex and interesting as the ground and the elevations of the earth’s surface. At the bottom of the ocean we find seamounts, valleys, plateaus, mountain chains and even active volcanoes. The eruption of underwater volcanoes is one of the most impressive and interesting natural phenomena in the world.
So, what is the Challenger Deep?
Challenger Deep is the lowest point on the Earth’s crust. Located within the already-deep Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.
The actual deepness of Challenger Deep strains the imagination.The location is at the southern end of the Mariana Trench.
It is around 11,000 meters deep. It is known by that name because the HMS Challenger was the first ship from which the first survey of the depths of this pit was made in 1875.
The 5 deepest points of the oceans
Although the Mariana Trench continues to be the deepest point in the ocean, it’s actually not the only one. An expedition organized in 2018 by a group of scientists in a mission called the Five Deeps Expedition, confirmed the 5 deepest points in the ocean. The results of the research were published in the scientific journal Geoscience Data Journal and we summarize them here.
|Rank||Trench Name||Deep Name||Depth in meters||Depth in Feets||Ocean|
|1||Mariana Trench||Challenger Deep||10924||35840||Pacific Ocean|
|2||Puerto Rico Trench||Browson Deep||8378||27487||Atlantic Ocean|
|3||South Sandwich Trench||Factorian Deep||7432||24383||Southern Ocean|
|4||Java Trench||Unnamed||7187||23579||Indian Ocean|
|5||Unnamed||Molloy Hole||5581||18310||Artic Ocean|
How deep in the ocean can humans go? (Video)
It depends on the technology. The deepest point man has reached using scuba gear is 332m. This deep diving world record was held by the Egyptian Ahmed Gabr in 2014.
Sin embargo, con la ayuda de un sumergible especializado el hombre a logrado bajar al punto más profundo del mar.
Esta hazaña fué realizada por Víctor Vescovo en el 2018. This short 2 minute video summarizes the details of the expedition.
Just how Deep does the ocean go?
Let’s take an underwater trip and see what we find.
Blue Whale feeding at 330 ft deep
Blue whales usually hunt at depths of around 330 feet within the well lit zone of the ocean.
First US submarine at 700 feet
Deeper down, at 700 feet, the USS Triton became the first submarine to circumnavigate the Earth in 1960.
Ocean depth: 831 ft
At 831 feet, we reach the deepest free-dive in recorded history. Down here, the pressure is 26 times greater than at the surface wich would cruch most human lungs. But whale manage it diving to a max depth of 1640 feet where they hunt giant squid.
Ocean depth: 2400 ft
At 2400 feet, we reach the danger zone for modern nuclear attack submarines any deeper the submarine´s hull would implode.
Ocean depth: 2722 ft
2722 feet down is where the tip of the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa would reach.
Ocean depth: 3280 ft
A little farther, at 3280 feet, we´re deep enough that sunlight can´t reach us.
We have now entered the midnight zone.
The midnight zone.
Many animals down here can´t see, like these eyeless shrimp at 7500 feet who thrive near scalding hot,undereater volcanoes.
At this depth temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing, but the waters around hydrothermal vents can heat up to 800 degrees F°.
9816 feet is the deepest any mammal has been recorded swimming. The Cuvier beaked whale.
But not even the Cuvier beaked whale could explore the RMS Titanic wich rests at a staggering depth of 12500 feet.
The pressure is now 378 times greater than at the surface.
Yet you can still find sea life like fangtooth, hagfish and Dumbo octopus, the deepest living octopus on Earth.
Ocean depth: 20.000 ft
AT 20.000 feets is the Hadal Zone- an area designated for the oceans deepest trenches, like the Mariana Trench.
If you tipped Mt Everest into the Mariana Trench its summit would reach down to 29029 feet.
That still doesn´t compare to the two deepest crewed missions in history.
Ocean depth: 35.756 ft
In 2012, director James Cameron descended to 35.756 feet, for the Deep Sea Challenger Mission.
But scientists estimate that there are potentially miles of marine species that we have yet to discover. Humans have explored an estimated 5-10% of the Earth’s oceans. We have only just begun to understand the deep and dark world that flows below us.
Ocean depth: 35.797 ft
But Cameron didn´t quite break the record, which was set by oceanographer Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh in 1960. Piccard and Walsh descended to the lowest point on Earth, Challenger Deep, at a record of 35.797 feet below the surface.
Since then, scientist have sent half a dozen unmanned submersibles to explore Challenger Deep, including Kaiko, wich collected over 350 species off the seafloor between 1995-2003.
Is there life deep in the ocean?
In the depths of the sea, the water temperature is lower due to the dispersion of solar energy. At 3,000 meters sunlight disappears completely, so imagine how dark the Mariana trench should be. At such depths due to the lack of light and heat, combined with the enormous water pressure evolution and development of life is nearly impossible.
However, there is evidence that it does exist and has evolved successfully. Most sea animals of these depths have no eyes. Also, the density of their bodies is too low to withstand the pressure exerted by the body of water.
What other animals live in deepest area?
Even though the Mariana Trench is compellingly deep, we cannot rule out that deeper places may exist.
The pressure level there is 110 Megapascals, the equivalent of 1,000,000 pascals.
No animal on the surface could withstand this kind of pressure.
In these areas live bacteria that live thanks to metabolizing hydrogen and methane that are released by rocks and water.
These are some of the species:
- Hadal amphipods 10,320 meters
- Brotula fish 8360 meters
- Fish Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis 8175 meters
- Ctenophores 7215 meters
- Sea lice 6895 meters
The main reason is the intense pressure on the ocean floor, which makes the environment very difficult to explore.
The air pressure that pushes down on our body at sea level is about one hundred thousand Newtons per square meter.
The anatomy of the human being is made to live comfortably in a terrestrial environment. This is due to its evolution under certain conditions, which makes us depend on oxygen.
The maximum you can reach is around 49 meters deep, approximately, during the dive.
Summary – How deep is the ocean ?
The ocean is a gigantic and mysterious place. The deepest known point is the Mariana Trench, with a depth of 35,840 feet (10,924 meters). However, there are five deep points in the five oceans. Man has managed to descend to the depths of the ocean, using high technology and through specialized submersibles. James Cameron and Victor Vescovo did it in 2012 and 2018 respectively.
- High-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry of the deepest place in each ocean. Heather A. Stewart, Alan J. Jamieson. May 2021