Anyone can benefit from learning about the ocean, but some might wonder why. You likely don’t consider how the seas affect your daily life, especially if you live somewhere far from water. You might believe those living in dry areas don’t reap the same benefits as those inhabiting coastal lands. This assumption is incorrect. The ocean impacts your life in ways you haven’t considered — but you’ll soon discover what those are.
If you don’t know much about the ocean other than the basics, you can learn now. It’s never too late to enhance your oceanic knowledge. You’ll be thankful you did when you realize how the seas support life as you know it.
It Supports All Life
The ocean accounts for over 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Many people believe trees are our primary oxygen source. Though they play a role, the Earth’s waters hold the most significance. Marine creatures — such as phytoplankton and algae — absorb carbon dioxide and output oxygen through photosynthesis. They existed before land plants and continue to serve as the backbone of Earth’s atmosphere.
The ocean’s currents create your local weather — and the global climate. They influence humidity, wind direction and speed, land surface temperature and more. They determine whether a farmer experiencing a crop-killing drought will finally see a rainy day. The ocean’s influence on the weather is undeniable, and without its regulation, people would suffer from catastrophic droughts and storms.
Though its waters are too salty for people to drink, marine creatures thrive in its various environments. Acidification threatens this harmony, however, by decreasing seawater’s pH levels through carbon dioxide absorption. As the ocean consumes CO2, it gradually becomes unhabitable for sea life.
It’s Home to Unbelievable Creatures
Most of the ocean remains unmapped. Scientists have reached once-inaccessible regions thanks to advanced technology, but there’s still plenty to explore. The deepest scuba dive went down 332 meters, yet the ocean is over 10,000 meters deep. The bottom of it holds astounding sea life scientists have only begun to uncover.
Bioluminescent animals are prevalent in the deep. Creatures in the farthest ocean layer have adapted to withstand freezing temperatures, immense pressure and complete darkness. Some go long periods without eating because of food scarcity, while others possess disproportionately huge mouths for consuming prey. The species here are unforgettable — specimen whose survival hinges on bodily design.
It Provides Food and Medicine
Seafood is a staple for millions globally. In 2017, the U.S. was the world’s second-largest seafood consumer with 5.2 billion pounds. Some cultures subsist on marine diets — without the ocean, their options would be limited. Overfishing and pollution threaten seafood cultivation, but educating people on ocean conservation helps preserve this food source.
Cytarabine, ziconotide and vidarabine are three FDA-approved medications originating from oceanic animals. They’re part of a growing list of oceanic medicines. These drugs treat diseases like leukemia and serve as analgesics. As the medical field tests new treatments, scientists utilize sea life to heal patients.
Ocean Conservation Supports the Entire World
Hopefully, you’ve gathered new knowledge and an increased interest in the ocean. It’s mighty in its abilities to sustain life and take it away. Everyone can benefit from respecting its power and protecting it from toxic threats — it’s the world’s lifeblood.