WTF Fun Fact 12436 – Ocean Depths

There’s a lot we don’t know about the ocean because humans simply can’t get to the very bottom. In fact, we don’t even know where the deepest spot on the planet lies because we’ve only mapped about 10% of the ocean floor in high resolution.

What we do know is that among the areas we’ve measured, the average depth of the ocean is 12,080 feet. For those who prefer different units of measure, that’s 3,682 meters, or 3.7 kilometers, or 2.3 miles – or, you know, 8 Empire State Buildings.

These measurements are taken from data gathered in 2010 and only provide an estimate.

Did you know there are different names for deep ocean zones?
– Littoral zone (from the shore to about 200 feet deep) tends to be shallow and has no formal definition.
– Bathyal (3,300 to 13,100 ft) 
– Abyssal (10,000 and 20,000 ft)
– Hadal zone (20,000 to 36,000 ft): This is the deepest part of the ocean, and you have to make your way into trenches created by tectonic plate shifts in order to reach them.

The ocean’s deepest known point is Challenger Deep, in the western Pacific’s Mariana Trench. It’s deeper than Mt. Everest is tall. – WTF fun facts 

Source: “How deep is the ocean?” — Natural History Museum

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