Christian Long

David Gallo: Life in the Deep Oceans

In TED Talks on April 9, 2010 at 9:18 am

Reflection by DEREK M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

David Gallo:  Life in the Deep Oceans

“The problem, I think, is that we take the ocean for granted.”

“Life in the Deep Oceans,” as presented by David Gallo, is a fascinating video combining the facts of the ocean with the unfortunate ignorance of the world around us. With the factual information provided along with the analysis of what is possible, David presents a fantastic view of the ocean and the creatures within it. The technology that is shown here in the late 1990’s is revolutionary, giving humans the opportunity to explore the depths of the ocean. This video gives us an amazing opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into a totally different world that is too often forgotten. I would highly recommend this video to anyone interested in the world and how it functions.

Consistently throughout the world the sea is taken for granted. No matter how often we see it or use it for its resources, we inherently take as a mystery too mysterious for our own curiosity.

As Mr. Gallo presents, the ocean has a denser biodiversity and biodensity, in some parts, than the rainforest. The kinds of creatures and organisms that can live by chemosynthesis are numerous and fascinating. Chemosynthesis is based on the survival of organisms without sunlight. The creatures have never seen the light of day and live in complete darkness. The multiple adaptations these creatures have made to live by constantly moving hydrothermal vents and the ecology of life in the deep oceans is nothing to scoff at. These organisms find a way to better senses for a life in complete darkness. That alone is remarkable.

“When you think about it, the oceans are 75 percent of the planet.”

What is even more remarkable is that we, as humans, do not see the ocean for how much mass it truly consumes. The ocean dominates the world around us, yet we treat it as the stepchild. We do not pay attention to the equilibrium that is necessary to preserve the ocean and all of its creations. The conservation attempts are rather futile. While we save the animals that we constantly see at the surface in the first 500 feet of depth, we forget about the other 9500 feet of depth that is globally averaged. The depth of the ocean averages around 2 miles deep, and the mountain ranges make the Alps look like a valley of rolling hills. The sea needs to be considered as well as the creatures that live there. Without them, sustaining life on this planet would be utterly impossible. The entire food chain would no longer exist, thus humans would no longer exist.

Before the process of evolution over millions of years, humans could have originated at the hydrothermal vents that are prominently found on the ocean floor at temperatures of over 200 degrees centigrade. Without these vents giving the barrier between the great oceans and the core of the Earth, humans would not exist today and neither would any other life on this planet. The plankton and the bacteria that live in the heat of the hydrothermal vents are condensed into great masses while living at extreme temperatures. Their life sustains the other life around them. In essence there would be no life on this planet without the hydrothermal vents covering the ocean floor, releasing toxic sulfides, by which the biodiversity of the ocean relies.

“Everything on this planet — everything — works by cycles and rhythms.”

The ocean is all about the full capacity of life on our planet. From the microorganisms near the thermal vents to the giant squid larger than the size of a school bus, the ocean is a mystery humans are not ready to solve. We overlook the ocean along with the creatures in it. There is a remarkable amount of life that can be discovered and the majority of life in the ocean has not yet been discovered because our humanly efforts are confined to what is presently affecting our lives.

Research shows that the ocean sustains majority of life on this planet. Without it, Earth would just be another planet in our galaxy: just another minute planet unable to sustain life. Therefore, we must protect the ocean for what it is. We must protect the creatures for what they are and we must gain knowledge into the world of the deep oceans both for geographical purposes, as well as biological research. The ocean is crucial to life on this planet and Mr. Gallo does a remarkable job bringing interest to a subject commonly misconstrued by human existence.

“There’s a story in the sea, in the waters of the sea, in the sediments and the rocks of the sea floor. It’s an incredible story. What we see when we look back in time in those sediments and rocks is a record of Earth history…so, what we’ve got to learn now is to find out where this planet’s going at all these different scales and work with it.”

If you were interested in this video you might also want to see another fascinating TED video at the following link: http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_lanting_s_lyrical_nature_photos.html

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