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Can we drill through the seafloor, to the mantle of the Earth?
Scientists’ curiosity doesn’t just stop at the bottom of the sea. They’re also interested in what lies beneath it.
Sixty years ago, geologists tried to drill down through the seabed to pull up a piece of the Earth’s mantle, a deep layer of the Earth no human has directly observed. Their mission didn’t go exactly as planned. But it sowed the seeds for a new field of science that has helped rewrite not only the history of the planet but, potentially, our definitions of life itself.
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The Earth is mainly a water world — more than 70 percent of its surface is covered by oceans — and yet we know so little about what resides beneath the waves.
The ocean, in this light, is like an alien world within our own. Many of its creatures are still unknown to us — both in kind and nu...
How many fish live in the ocean’s mysterious “twilight zone”?
As you dive deeper into the ocean, less and less sunlight shines through. About 200 meters beneath the surface, you reach an area called the mesopelagic, or the “twilight zone.” Sunlight fades almost completely out of vi...
Why do whales strand themselves on beaches? And are humans to blame?
every year, thousands of marine mammals like whales end up trapped on beaches or in the shallow waters near shore. According to some studies, these strandings have been increasing.
But why do the animals do ...
Only 20 percent of the ocean floor has been mapped. What’s down there?
Currently, only 20 percent of the seafloor has been mapped, making it a more mysterious place than the surface of the moon or Mars. That means e...
Can a human really be friends with an octopus?
Can a caring relationship form between humans and a sea creatures like an octopus? It’s not known whether the friendship in the document...
Why do so many sea creatures glow?
It’s wrong to say there’s no light in the depths of the ocean. There’s light, it just doesn’t come from the sun. Deep in the ocean (and also on the surface), divers find other-worldly displays of bioluminescence, sparkling like fireworks in the da...
Where is plastic pollution in the ocean hiding, and how does it get there?
Every year, tons of plastic manufactured on land is dumped into the sea. But scientists have yet to complete the work of figuring out all the nooks and crannies our plastic pollution nudges its way into....
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The 7 unsolved mysteries of the ocean.
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