• Damon Swisher

What Sort of Planet is the Earth?

Updated: Nov 23, 2020


The Earth is our home - a haven for the largest source of life known to man, with anywhere between 10 million to 1 trillion species currently on Earth, 80% being undiscovered and unknown. It's a place with colossal mountains and sprawling plains; racing rivers and tumbling gorges. And, it's also covered in a blanket of water.

That's right - it's probably something you've heard before: the surface for the Earth is 75% water. A large portion of that belongs to the Ocean, which has a volume of 1.3 BILLION kilometers cubed, and an average depth of 12,000 feet (or 2.3 miles) which is just insane to think about.

So when considering what type of planet the Earth is; it's true that it contains jungles, deserts, rainforests, and more - but, predominantly, the Earth's environment is Ocean.

The Earth is a water planet.


TheVast is committed to reporting pertinent news from the waterfront regarding marine biology, engineering, and conservation breakthroughs and innovations. After all, what's more important than our own home?

The ocean is our lifeline - it provides 70% of the oxygen that we, and all animals, breathe. It's dazzling; it truly is the lungs of our planet. They are the habitat for life, and they provide for life that doesn't even live within it! In fact, 94% of ALL life on this planet exists in this one, amazingly huge expanse. When we think of the Earth, we tend to picture the landscapes mentioned before - but only 6% of the life on this planet lives in those places. And there are 7 billion humans right now - just imagine how many fish there are in the sea! It's not too hard to accept it however; the land is (relatively) flat, so the creatures that live on the surface have roughly one plane to live on. The ocean, however, can reach up to 35,000 feet deep, and habitats range from the top all the way to the bottom (despite most lacking coverage, research, or even still waiting to be discovered).

Aside from the physical lifeforms the ocean provides for and benefits, the ocean jangles an even larger array of other keys - the keys to our planet's climate. Studies regarding the sea level and ocean floor deposition help predict the future of our climate, and retro-active studies that compare ocean fluctuations help predict the climate's future. There may be more important metrics for climate data hidden within the ocean which we find ourselves on the verge of discovering. Building on the effects of the ocean on climate, the effects on weather demonstrate more prevalence as ocean temperatures spawn powerful storms and atmospheric phenomena that extend as far inland as possible.

Speaking of discovery - despite so much left to discover, ocean exploration has lead to a massive number of innovations and technology. Pressurization features and studies, observations of vents on the ocean floor, testing methodology based on manta-rays and other marine species, better propulsion mechanics, not to mention the modern trade system - all have been improved on, created by, or benefitted from ocean exploration. Estimates show there are caches of technology and discoveries still waiting when the rest of it is researched.

In the face of all this; the ocean is still foreign to humanity as 95% of it is left unexplored. That's right, everything we know right now is just surface level knowledge. Humans classified over 228,000 marine species, yet roughly 91% of the total marine species are left to be classified. In fact, estimates show that 700,000 species are yet to be discovered, meaning they are still unknown - possibly, people have seen them? But even if they have, we wouldn't know - there's no record. Studies even show up to 8 species of whale may still be undiscovered. If exploration equals observation, then following the science is not on our trajectory, seeing as observation is usually the scientific method's first step. Even though satellite mapping shows the general arrangement of the sea floor, we're nowhere near understanding what it's like down there. We know more about the dark side of our Moon than the deep sea.

The oceanic biome is under attack from an army - and army of ignorance. Reefs are dying, invasive species are spreading, and sharks are being killed for terrible reasons. Plastic is washing into the ocean in tons, and concurrently being eaten by marine animals that aren't unfortunate enough to be caught in it.

Things have been pretty bad.

Luckily, it's getting better.

Humans begin to change their interaction with the ocean as additional exposure improves the outlook - research into deep sea flora and fauna increased, exploration missions have been launched, and cleaning initiatives are evolving across the globe; the endless curiosity of humanity pushes us further into the unknown, and our intrinsic empathy allows us to take up arms and wage war against pollution of the past. Pollution of the present is reducing as sustainable business ventures become increasingly attractive - we are beginning to revolutionize how things are done.

Through it all, TheVast is committed to bringing news, good or bad, about the ocean and related topics right to the forefront so we can arm ourselves with the most powerful weapon of all: knowledge. If ignorance is the army besieging our planet, than only knowledge can be used to fight it. Our plan is to report on new studies, breakthrough research, technology, cool ocean and marine animal facts, sustainable energy, sustainable living, innovations, and engineering news. We intend to share all of this with you with a sleek and modern approach - and we hope some funny memes along the way.

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