It will not have escaped you that a good part, a very large part even, a huge part of the earth is covered by water. And if water has many virtues, it still complicates things to know what’s underneath, in relation to the fact that it’s quite opaque, all that. There are therefore a number of things, living or not, that we would not like to be confronted with, miles from the surface, especially not in a dark alley in the evening when we have sprained our ankle.
1. Weird noise
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In June 2016, several people claimed to have heard a super weird noise emanating from the depths of the Arctic Ocean. A noise such that it would have scared away the animals in the area, alerting the local associations for the defense of wildlife. It was fishermen who first felt these buzzes through the hull of their boat before boaters in turn picked up the signal. To date, despite an investigation, the origin of the noise could not be explained. Brrr Boo.
2. Giant squid…
It’s usually what we automatically think of when we think of the abyss: giant squids. These big critters live at depths of over 600 meters and can reach up to 13 meters – the females are bigger and fatter than the males. A priori, the giant squids wouldn’t dare to eat us, but personally I don’t want to go and check.
3. And a lot of critters that we don’t know
It is estimated that two-thirds of marine species remain to be identified. Also it is not uncommon to find on the beaches here or elsewhere gigantic stranded animals that are hard to identify. Sometimes it’s just sperm whales suffering from deformities, sometimes it clearly looks like an unknown and terrifying species. A bit like this species of blind dolphin eel with shark teeth found on a beach in Mexico earlier this year.
4. Mysterious underwater ruins
There are submerged cities all over the world. But among the most bizarre are those of Yonaguni Island, Japan, whose origin dates back 14,000 years and whose interlocking structures are bizarre. The ruins even have a pyramid 30 meters high and it is unclear whether it is a man-made structure or a natural formation that looks very much like a sunken city. In any case, the ruins were submerged 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.
5. Decomposing whale skeletons. Full.
When a whale dies, its fellow whales tend not to hold a proper funeral. The body thus falls there, at the bottom of the ocean, ready to be eaten by scavengers. In order, therefore, it is the sharks who use the first, before the very structure of the skeleton is used to feed for tens and tens of years full of micro-organisms which will also use the spine to build shelters. The bottom of the ocean is thus carpeted with millions of skeletons of marine animals which end up inserting themselves into the underwater decor and becoming an integral part of it. The carbon released by decomposition also allows the creation of specific micro-climates favorable to the emergence of biodiversity.
6. Lost submarines. Lots of lost submarines.
And therefore probably the decomposed corpses of their crew. The Americans alone have lost more than 70 submarines since the beginning of the 20th century. More worryingly, some missing submarines were carrying nuclear warheads. A total of 9 nuclear submarines have been sunk since the beginning of the atomic age, of which 5 were Soviet, 2 Russian and 2 American. You don’t want to fall on it while taking a dip.
7. Secret military bases
The melting of the ice can hold funny surprises. In 2016, it thus forced the emergence of an American military base submerged in the Arctic, under the ice of Greenland. And what does it contain, this military base installed during the Cold War in anticipation of the nuclear apocalypse with the Soviets? Nuclear ballistic warheads, of course. There is therefore a huge environmental challenge.
8. Underwater graveyards
There are underwater cemeteries all over the world – and by underwater cemeteries I mean cemeteries where people have been buried underwater, not places where lots of boats have run aground. One of them is called the Neptune Memorial Reef and is located in Florida. It accommodates 700 remains at a depth of 15 meters in a setting of kitsch Greek colonnades designed to recall Atlantis. We hope that in 1000 years the guys who come across it will not believe that it is REALLY about Atlantis.
9. Freaking Statues
There are two types of underwater statues: those that aren’t freaking out at all since they were put there recently by municipally funded artists, and those that are seriously freaking out because they’ve been there for ages. centuries and centuries and we find dead fish on it. Off Easter Island, tour operators take advantage of a fake submerged Moai for filming and take divers there, but what they didn’t know is that there is a real submerged Moai in the area: 1952, one of the statues was indeed embarked on board a ship of the Chilean navy in the direction of the continent before falling to the bottom of the seas without anyone ever finding it.
10. People who say “I’m underwater”
And they are unbearable. They also say “I’m busy”, “I’m overbooked”, they sweat a lot and start all their sentences with “it is absolutely necessary that”. These are arguably the greatest terrors of the abyss. And I weigh my words. They are 18 grams.