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OLP 7: The ocean is largely unexplored


The ocean is the largest unexplored place on Earth—less than 5 percent of it has been explored. Remotely operated vehicles allow scientists to explore ocean depths that are inaccessible to SCUBA divers (Fig. 1). Ocean exploration relies on teams of science researchers across the globe.



Understanding the ocean is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, experimentation, and discovery are required to better understand ocean systems and processes. Our very survival hinges upon it.


Over the last 50 years, use of ocean resources has increased significantly; the future sustainability of ocean resources depends on our understanding of those resources and their potential.


New technologies, sensors, and tools are expanding our ability to explore the ocean. Scientists are relying more and more on satellites, drifters, buoys, subsea observatories, and unmanned submersibles.

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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.