If you have been living under a rock for the past decade, you may not have noticed that there are literal garbage islands in our oceans. There are areas bigger than small countries of trash and plastic swirling around breaking down slowly into polluted, soupy, chemically, sea water.
There is, however, an area of the ocean that is virtually untouched by the mass pollution human beings have plagued the planet with. The currents that circulate torrential trash water do not reach this area in the southern hemisphere. This area of Arctic sea is a place of beauty, tragic exploratory history, and more importantly intact marine ecosystem.
Scientists are losing their minds over this ocean, which is now protected by the European Union along with 24 other countries and has basically become a marine version of a nature reserve.
This tiny area of salt water, and all the life inside it may lead to some serious scientific discoveries. Since this is the case, naturally you ought to educate yourself… Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some of the key things you should know about the Ross Sea.
1. James Clark Ross and the Ross Sea Party
No James Clark Ross wasn’t a frat boy, and no, the Ross Sea Party was not some ridiculous theme party thrown in his honor. This guy was a badass when it came to explorers. This guy and a group of dudes sailed around the Arctic in bombing vessels in freezing weather. No, they didn’t do this in the 21st century… They did this in the 1800’s!
With limited resources and virtually primitive technology, this guy and his pals explored the Arctic discovering the Ross Sea, a few volcanos, and ice shelves. They suffered the loss of a ship, and two or three of them died. Nevertheless, they endured. Ross was eventually knighted for his badassery… I mean bravery.
2. The Largest Marine Park, and the landmark decision that made it so
The Ross Sea was made a protected area by the European Union and 24 other countires in a landmark decision late in 2016. This means that no one can fish here and that scientists are left alone to perform research on what is perhaps the last intact marine ecosystem left on the planet.
Other than saving this area from destructive fishing practices and thus preserving the home of hundreds of rare species of animal – some unique to this region – this is the first time different countries agreed to protect an area of the planet that isn’t belonging to one country or another.
3. Scientists are having a field day
We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean. Isn’t that baffling?
Because this is one of the few areas on the planet that have been left virtually untouched by fishing and pollution means that this is the prime spot to study wildlife. There are animals that live in the Ross Sea that live nowhere else in the world.
Because of the extreme temperatures this animals are really cool. For instance, there are a few species of fish that live in this area that literally produce anti-freeze chemicals that allow them to survive in the frigid waters.
Naturally, Scientists are loosing their mind and are making themselves at home in the snowy antarctic to study this area of ocean as much as they possibly can.
If you want to learn more about the Ross Sea, then check out the video below!