How Has Ocean Exploration Increased Scientific Understanding and Influenced Technology?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

Ocean exploration is the process of investigating the depths of large bodies of water. It is not the same as deep-sea diving, which involves descending to relatively shallow depths, typically in a vessel equipped with scuba gear.

While scuba diving and other forms of underwater exploration have existed for millennia, scientific exploration of the oceans is relatively new. Its development has been driven by practical applications, like the laying of undersea cables, and by natural curiosity. The deep-sea creatures, unique habitats and hidden places that were once the stuff of science fiction movies and ancient scientists’ dreams (Leonardo Da Vinci, Plato and Aristotle) are now real enough to be explored with advanced vessels, submarines and unmanned vehicles.

Historically, ocean exploration was conducted by schooners and larger ships with crews that included a mix of physicists seeking laws of nature and naturalists studying marine organisms. In the nineteenth century, polar explorers and hydrographers mapped oceanic regions and explored deeper depths, including the icy waters of the North and South poles.

The late Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) was an early champion of ocean exploration. A former naval gunnery officer, he used his Navy experience to study the sea and develop improvements to his own underwater equipment. His most famous invention was the aqualung, or self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Today’s advances in ocean exploration involve sophisticated sensors, powerful lights, robotic arms and video cameras that can record and capture unprecedented data for scientists to study. These technologies also make it possible to map ocean floor topography, monitor seafloor currents and explore oceans on other planets.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram