Many, including myself, find the ocean very unsettling. One reason is the incredible diversity of sea creatures it holds. Another is its almost unbelievable depth.
The distance between the surface and the bottom probably seems endless to someone with thalassophobia, or the intense fear of the ocean. But how deep does the water actually go? This animation from Tech Insider puts the massive distance into perspective for us with comparisons of different depths to objects, animals, and landmarks whose sizes we already have a grasp on, and it’s pretty incredible.
The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, can be found at depths of around 330 feet, barely scratching the surface of the ocean’s depth.
But whales can go down to an impressive 1,640 feet to hunt giant squid. This section is nearly a thousand feet deeper than the deepest recorded free-dive at 831 feet, where the pressure would crush most people’s lungs.
At 2,722 feet is where the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, would reach if it were upside down. Down here, nuclear attack submarines would risk imploding.
At 3,280 feet is the “midnight zone,” where sunlight can’t reach. Unsurprising, many creatures living here don’t have eyes because they’d be useless. Eyeless shrimp thrive at an amazing 7,500 feet near underwater volcanoes.
The Cuvier beaked whale can reach all the way down to 9,816 feet, the deepest any mammal has been recorded swimming.
The sunken remains of the RMS Titanic rest at 12,500 feet, where creatures like the hagfish and fangtooth survive at a pressure 378 times greater than the surface.
The ocean’s deepest trenches lie at 20,000 feet in the Hadal zone. The summit of Mount Everest would reach 29,029 feet if tipped upside down into the Mariana Trench.
However, that doesn’t even reach as far down as the two deepest crewed missions in history. Learn more from the animation below.
Well, this information definitely doesn’t lessen my terror when it comes to swimming in the ocean. Even the highest point on land has nothing on the big, blue sea!