As eloquently stated by the United States Geological Survey, “the Earth is a watery place.” This is something easy to lose sight of for those who do not live near a major river, lake, or ocean, but humans and the land we live on take up only a small percentage of the planet’s primarily aquatic surface. More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. The vast majority is saltwater found in the five major oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern (in Antartica). You might not have heard of the last one. It was proposed to the International Hydrographic Organization at the turn of the millennium and has yet to be agreed upon by all countries, though it is officially recognized by the United States.
While they are one of the planet’s most valuable natural resources, the oceans remain 80% unexplored. However, they have been treated with a disappointing lack of care in recent years and could be irrevocably changed before anyone gets the chance. As the ocean warms, corals die or move to other places to beat the heat. Other species move in the take their place, sometimes permanently changing the ecosystem. Pollution—everything from plastic to oil spills to fertilizer running off from our yards—can affect the seafood we eat and kill wildlife. For example, in March 2019 a beached whale in the Philippines was found with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. It is up to each individual to do their part in preserving the natural beauty the oceans have to offer.
Stacker has collected 50 stunning photographs of the world’s oceans in an effort to not only encourage more to visit these beautiful locations, but also to raise awareness of the pivotal role each human plays in ensuring the preservation of these incredible bodies of water. Read on to enjoy these otherworldly views to be reminded of the preciousness of Earth’s biggest water sources.
You may also like:Majestic photos from the world's 50 tallest mountains