November 13, 2013: Our Watery Home

~by Susi Pittman

I have always been an avid “night sky watcher” thanks to my father and his love of astronomy. The views of space that we receive from outside our solar system from the Hubble telescope are truly astounding! But, what really astounds me more is that we seem to know more about what’s up there than down here. By down here, I mean the ocean depths and the creatures and life that inhabit them. More humans have walked on the moon than have traversed the deep depths of the oceans floors.

Oh sure, we have scanned much of the topography of the ocean bottom, at least to the point that we can find this unique presentation of what the planet would look like without all the oceans.

EARTH WITHOUT WATER

This information is extraordinary, but, it still doesn’t speak to the environment and inhabitants that live in these deep recesses. Almost monthly, we hear of something new being discovered beneath the seas or washing up on a coastal shore.

The average depth of the planets oceans is 13,000+ feet. That is where most of the oceans waters reside. We know a great deal about our shallow coastlines, but not so much beyond them. Since the year 2000, there have been 1,200 new species discovered in the oceans depths. Much of what we are currently garnering about the deep blue sea comes from seafaring robots.

There is a deep crevice in the center of the Atlantic Ocean of about 14,760 feet called the Charlie Gibbs Fracture. A recent exploration of it turned up a new octopus which was named the dumbo octopus due to what appears to be two large ears.

The deepest known part of the planets oceans is in the Pacific Ocean…the Mariana Trench which is 36,200 feet deep. Only two men have been to the bottom here and that was years ago.

Given these statistics, NOAA has estimated that 95% of the world’s oceans and 99% of the ocean floor are unexplored.

This gave me pause to consider why God might have intended that we live in a place with so much water?

Water, its vastness, purity, richness, prismatic qualities and fluidity gives life to all things on this planet, without exception. It serves as a powerful, beautiful, awesome reminder of the love that sustains us and gives life.

God is love. The seas remind me of this. Their depths are full of mystery yet ordered. Their substance gives life and embraces the whole of the planet.

As stewards of the seas, we need to do a better job of caring for them. Garbage and pollution are the biggest factors in making our oceans sick.

Please support legislation, non-profit ecological groups and local community action that will secure healthy oceans.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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