The ocean, in its vast, expansive beauty, can seem mesmerising and inviting to the adventurous who want to explore its depths.
However, it can also often prove perilous, as the crew of the Titan submersible found out when operators lost contact with the vessel.
The craft reportedly held billionaire Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood, and three more individuals. With their immense riches, they were able to finance this trip to view the Titanic that sank in 1912.
Time was running out for this crew, as they had limited oxygen supplies. However, experts say experienced an implosion of the vessel and all who were aboard died.
Some, including scientists, have said that entering the recesses of the ocean is scarier than going to space.
This makes the ocean a fierce force that can challenge even the most experienced experts.
Here are five reasons why the ocean is terrifying:
- Only five percent of it has been explored
This is according to the US National Ocean Service. While stretching the globe, there remain many unearthed mysteries the ocean contains.
This is despite countless expeditions and the wealth of knowledge and technology the world now possesses.
- Rogue waves
Once relegated to myths from ancient seafaring civilisations, rogue waves are now believed to be real within the scientific community and beyond.
National Geographic describes the phenomenon as a “wall of water’’ that can be up to 30 metres in height.
According to reports, in February 2000, the RRS Discovery, a British oceanographic research vessel, was cruising in the Rockall Trough west of Scotland when it experienced the greatest waves ever recorded by any scientific equipment in the open ocean, with individual waves reaching 29.1 metres.
Sailors of old told of the legendary kraken, an enormous creature that could sink the largest of ships to the depths of the sea floor.
There are also tales of sirens or mermaids that would lure sailors to their deaths.
While they have never been proven to exist, cryprozoologists are always searching and looking to provide evidence for these animals.
However, cryptozoology is considered a pseudo-science that seeks and studies mysterious, mythical, or extinct animals whose current existence is unknown.
- Mariana trench
The Mariana trench is the world's deepest oceanic abyss. The lowest point is known as the Challenger Deep, and it is estimated to be 10,984 metres below the ocean's surface.
Many bizarre and dangerous deep-sea species live there, including the deep-sea dragonfish, black seadevil anglerfish and dumbo octopus.
Additionally, the water pressure at the Mariana Trench's bottom is more than 1,071 times that of sea level.
In 2016, a research published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’’ indicated that dangerous bacteria are spreading across the seas as temperatures rise, increasing the risk of illness.
This is exacerbated by climate change.
Bacterial species such as Vibrio vulnificus can also infect people, most commonly through undercooked seafood or wounds exposed to polluted salt water.