oceans

Deepsea Minerals Are Coming Soon To A Mobile Phone Near You

Rocks mined from the seafloor have been confirmed as a viable source for rare earth metals, and thus a tiny piece of the ocean might soon find its way into a cell phone or computer chipboard near you. The finding, published in the April 2014 issue of Applied Geochemistry, all but guarantees a new round of focus on overcoming the challenges — both industrial and environmental — of extracting mineral riches from the ocean depths.


Look At These Beautiful Little Corals Grown Like Ice Blocks In A Lab

Coral sex is a wonder to behold. On a summer night, always around a full moon, corals somehow all know to release billions of sperm and eggs into the sea, turning the water into a pink miasma of sex. This spawning relies on precise environmental cues, which could get scrambled in climate change. That’s why researchers are trying to get them to spawn in the lab.


Why Don't The Seas Keep Getting Saltier?

Everyone knows that the seas are salty because, while water evaporates, the salt doesn’t. But why don’t our seas keep getting saltier?


UN: Ships Need To Shut Up So Whales And Dolphins Can Hear

The noises made by the gargantuan boats that move our stuff from one continent to another are ruining marine life. So, this week, new regulations have been issued by the International Maritime Organisation, the sea-faring agency of the United Nations, asking shipping companies to turn down the volume.


Shipping Containers Lost At Sea And The Search For Flight 370

Just how many large mysterious objects can there be floating at sea? That’s what many of us have wondered after the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines 370 turned up piece after piece of ocean trash. The search for flight 370 has focused our attention on empty patches of ocean and, in the process, shed light on the surreal world of lost shipping containers.


What Happens When You Throw Four Sharks Into A Giant School Of Fish

Four blacktip reef sharks swim amongst a school of bait fish off the coast of Argentina. The fish, naturally, do not seem happy to see said sharks. That is most certainly because the sharks are hungry…


Mysterious Underwater Rivers Criss-Cross The Bottom Of The Ocean

If you’ve ever made a trans-Atlantic call — or, heck, used the internet — then you might like to know a few things about the ocean floor. Mighty but enigmatic underwater rivers flow along the ocean bed. And it’s telecommunications companies, who have to lay thick cables for transoceanic phone and internet connections, with perhaps the most to worry about when it comes to mapping those rivers.


The UK Is Crowdsourcing Its Next Map Of The Ocean Floor

Believe it or not, we don’t know how deep large parts of the ocean off the British coast really are, and this is obviously not a good thing for the many sailors who cruise around those waters. A new project funded by the European Community is using technology to solve this problem — technology and lots of boats.


Tapping Into Wave Power With A Gigantic, Artificial 'Seafloor Carpet'

Scientists have known for decades that muddy coastal sediments absorb the power of waves as they roll toward beaches. The result is a free service courtesy of soft ocean bottoms that diminishes the sea’s energy before it reaches the communities living beyond them.


The Ultimate Whale Watching Vessel Isn't A Boat -- It's A Satellite

Whale watching: you’re out there on the water with salt spray in your face and wind in your hair, waiting for a gigantic sea mammal to surface and do something splashy. It seems like a touristy thing to do, but scientists actually track whale populations from that very same vantage point. Sea level’s cool and all, but wouldn’t it be awesome to monitor whales — FROM SPACE?? You’re damn right it would, and now it’s actually happening.