Oceans span the largest majority of the Earth’s surface, making up over 70% of its total area and holding an astounding 97% of the planet’s water reserves. Since they first began to provide glimpses of their unusual populations and magnificent vistas, these aquatic worlds have enthralled human interest. While we are familiar with some of the creatures that live in the ocean’s depths, from tiny plankton to majestic blue whales, and have marvelled at images showcasing wonders like the vast Great Barrier Reef and glacial landscapes adorned with icebergs and glaciers, the majority of the ocean is still shrouded in mystery, with vast stretches hardly ever coming into our sight. We set out on a virtual voyage as part of this investigation to reveal the wonders buried within the least visited areas of our aquatic world.
Ilulissat Icefjord, North Atlantic:
The backdrop of Greenland’s arctic beauty is made up of hundreds of icebergs that live in its chilly waters. These icebergs grace the entrance of the Ilulissat Icefjord with their majestic presence as they calve from glaciers or develop from frozen saltwater. The Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, known for its remarkable ice calving rates that surpass even the majority of glaciers beyond Antarctica, is the source of this breathtaking vista, which has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressively, the continual ice contributions from this glacier to the maritime landscape are responsible for the existence of about 10% of Greenland’s icebergs.
Maelstrom, Saltstraumen Sound:
A maelstrom, a ferocious whirlpool distinguished by its forceful vortex and formidable currents, is a turbulent whirlpool that is forming within the Saltstraumen Sound of Norway. The maelstrom’s immense force is demonstrated by its vigorous swirling at amazing speeds, but the full intensity of this phenomenon goes beyond simple classifications. This aquatic force, known as the strongest tidal current in the world, can carry water at incredible rates of up to 23 miles per hour (37 km/h), or 20 nautical knots. The fierce currents of the maelstrom, which seem unfriendly to life due to their strength, are caused by the quick and considerable flow of water between two fjords. Nevertheless, despite all odds, the Saltstraumen is home to a variety of marine species.
The fascination of our aquatic world, which includes both the magnificent iceberg theatre in the Ilulissat Icefjord and the turbulent dance of life in the Saltstraumen Sound, entices people to learn more about the secrets that lie beneath the water’s surface. We continue to learn the mysteries these aquatic worlds hold as we explore their largely unexplored regions. The future holds discoveries that are ready to astound and deepen our comprehension of the Earth’s most perplexing habitats, as the majority of this huge realm remains undisturbed by human gaze.