Planet Earth: Unexplored Regions of Earth Part 2

About the unexplored regions of the planet Earth, including ocean floor exploration, history of exploration.

UNEXPLORED EARTH

Exploration today is concerned not only with what is where but why it is there. The earlier geographical aim of discovering new features of the earth's surface to include on maps is no longer the primary goal of exploration.

There is still much exploration to be done on the floors of the oceans, where progress in mapping has been slow. Long, winding valleys, steep canyons, and mountains equaling in height those on land comprise regions of the oceans and are a lure for future exploration.

Exploration under the sea is quite different from that on land. Land above the sea is characterized by the erosion of the surface from winds and rain, some of the debris spilling into the oceans. Under the sea there is a process of deposition, of filling up with the giant rubbish heaps of nature. While the world's continents have been mapped, seas charted, highest mountain peaks have been climbed, and the North and South Poles reached, man has yet to conquer the depths of the oceans. Nevertheless, the study of the oceans is picking up momentum and progress is being made--thanks to advanced techniques using new scientific equipment. There is examination of the seabed and seawaters along with the life in them, as well as study of the feasibility of man's living underseas. Scientists predict undersea cities in the future, when the oceans will be utilized to solve some of the world's problems, such as the scarcity of food and minerals.

The past decade has seen the U.S. and Russia make vast expenditures for space research. Astronauts in orbiting spaceships, using highly scientific cameras, have been able to photograph the earth to reveal how vast, beautiful, and overpowering the sphere is in all its grandeur. Successful moon landings have inspired probes much deeper into outer space. Much has been accomplished in a few years and much lies ahead for future explorations of space--and the sea--in man's never-ending search for knowledge and adventure.

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