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Deep Sea

The depths of the world’s oceans are some of the last unexplored frontiers on Earth. Even in the 21st century, it’s likely that there are great discoveries to be made on the ocean floor in a variety of fields, including biology, geology, and even archaeology. One reason there’s still so much to learn is that the journey down to the ocean floor is extremely treacherous . In the words of the explorer and film director James Cameron, “there are a lot of ways to die [down there].” The human body is not

Dangers: Pressure- induced illnesses, drownings, and explosions can occur far from land. Did You Know? The deepest water in

the world is that of the Pacific Ocean’s

Mariana Trench, which goes farther down into the Earth than Mount Everest stretches into the sky.

built to exist in the high- pressure environment of the deep sea. Divers are at risk for a variety of problems, such as • barotrauma (involving damage to the ear) • decompression sickness (aka “the bends,” caused by rising to the surface too quickly) • oxygen toxicity (when pressure causes the body to take in too much oxygen) • pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) Deep-sea vessels can fare just as badly as humans, succumbing to the tremendous water pressure by breaking or even falling totally apart. Extraordinarily low temperatures can cause machinery to freeze, but if it gets too close to hypothermic vents, that same

A Chinese vessel known as Deep Sea Warrior.

The Ultimate Book of Dangerous Places


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