If you missed our first installment of terrifying ocean facts, here’s what you need to know to survive through the rest of summer. Stay out of the ocean. If you really want to go swimming, you should pick a much safer place to do it, like, say, a toxic waste dump. It would probably have less chemicals and it would definitely have less tentacles and teeth.
What’s that you say? It’s the end of the summer and you have to get in just one last time. Well, keep in mind that this last time really could be the last time. Oh, wait. You’re only going in up to your waistline? Perfect. That’s just where the killer jellyfish want you. Oh, no, you say- you’re an excellent swimmer and you never get in the ocean alone. Well, most accidental drowning victims fade out of existence while their friends and family members watch, unaware of the situation. Wait… You’re partying hard for the final hurrah. You’re not even leaving your hotel room. That still doesn’t mean you’re safe. The ocean is a perilous force with neither time nor concern for pesky human rules. You and your waterfront rental could never prevail against its power or prepare for what’s in store.
Now previously, we explained the many mysteries of the deep blue and how what we don’t know can hurt us. This time around, we’ll take a look at some of the things we do know about the ocean and how they might scare your swimming trunks right off. Here are even more terrifying ocean facts to make you clutch your beach blanket. 33 million of them are carbon toxins and the rest are even deadlier.
15. It’s Raging With Vortexes
You read that correctly. If you thought vortexes were just for science fiction then you have been sincerely misinformed. Science fiction simply took vortexes out of the ocean and placed them on land. In reality, a vortex occurs when opposing oceanic forces converge. Much like in the movies, a person, or even an entire ship filled with people, can get sucked into a vortex in no time at all.
You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle haven’t you? Well, it seems as though that particular vortex is capable of grabbing airplanes and snatching them right out of the sky. But you don’t believe that do you? Even if vortexes are real (which they are) it’s not like they really transport people to other dimensions… Except that when you’re in the ocean, they do. The more we explore and learn about these vortexes and their varying dimensions, the more we realize that when it comes to the ocean, we know absolutely nothing at all. A dark, desolate world few can see and fewer can understand is only a vortex away.
14. Enchanted Forests and Rushing Underwater Rivers
Imagine exploring in the deep vast ocean hoping to discover new wildlife, new plant life, or new archaeological ruins and finding instead, an independently flowing, totally separate body of water flowing underneath the water. That’s what happened some years back when scuba divers went for a swim a few miles away from the Yucatan Peninsula. What they witnessed shocked them and now, it’s taking the world by storm.
Underwater rivers are a very recent discovery for those of us living in modern times. While we might not have known about them until just now, it appears the ancient Maya did and from the looks of things, this rippling river in the Yucatan, which is surrounded by an enchanted forest, is where they used to carry out their human sacrifices. With this aspect of the ocean just making its way onto out modern maps, it’s difficult to determine how many other enchanted forests exist beneath the surface. You’d also have to wonder how many of them were used to channel evil. So, if you’re not keen to the idea of milling around on ancient demon ritual grounds, you might want to avoid the ocean completely. After all, you never know what lies beneath you. Speaking about what’s beneath you, have you heard the news?
13. Sharks Are Having A Banner Year
According to newjersey.com, the website that promotes tourism at the Jersey shore, 2016 is breaking records. It’s not breaking temperature records though. It’s breaking shark records. Now here, we’re looking at an upward climbing trend not just in attacks and fatalities, but also in sheer shark population. You could say the sharks are coming around full circle.
The ocean’s shark presence is denser than ever. Don’t be surprised if you didn’t get the memo. This kind of news isn’t often broadly reported as it tends to put a damper on the tourism market. Nonetheless, the shark population has increased dramatically, according to surveys conducted by NOAA. They base their studies on a method they use to tag and determine shark fertility rates. They have been keeping records since the mid- eighties. According to their observations, the ocean is quite literally teeming with life and all of their ocean life numbers have increased with a lot of the sharks now gravitating to the east coast for a bite now and again. So how many shark bites does it take to break records? Well, a little over 98 bites spread across the course of three months is the number to beat. The Washington Post urges us not to worry though because…
12. Accidental Drownings Are Way More Common
When discussing the dramatic increase in all things sharks, The Washington Post puts our minds at ease by pointing out the fact that accidental drownings are still “way more common” than shark bites. It’s true. As it turns out, accidental drownings are the third leading cause of accidental death. It makes a lot of sense when you take into consideration the current, riptide, waves, whirlpools, and natural dangers, that accidentally drowning in the ocean could be a prevalent problem.
What you may not realize is that drowning victims often die in front of an audience before anyone, even lifeguards, figures out what’s happening. Drowning in real life is not like choking in that the signals of distress aren’t as easy to read. Location also plays a huge role in the asphyxiation of the victim and if your location is the ocean, you’re basically doomed. Why? Because a whole lot is happening in the ocean and the physical symptoms of drowning are subtle. Between the waves crashing, the seagulls cawing, the wind whipping, and hundreds of thousands of swimmers on the shoreline splashing around, it’s almost impossible to garner attention until you’re already turning blue. Drowning victims can’t even cry out for help. Sometimes they can’t even buoy up to the surface at all. This is particularly true if they are being pulled further under the tide by, say, a giant Pacific Octopus.
11. The 30-Foot Pacific Octopus Feeds On Sharks And People
Not to be confused with the 59-foot squid described in part one of these articles, the 30- foot Pacific octopus is a whole other animal indeed. It might not be quite as large as the giant squid but it makes up for that with intelligence, ambition, and a thirst for blood. One of the most alarming and overlooked adverse affects of an increased shark population is the fact that sometimes, sharks are prey. That’s the case in this particular instance. This mammoth beast donning sucker clad armor is not just strong enough to go toe to toe with a shark, he’s also smart enough to open a jar and maneuver himself out of a cage. Would you like to tango with this blood thirsty, eight-armed Houdini and see which one of you lives to tell the tale? Then, by all means, dive into the deep blue. We’re sure the shark he was feeding on won’t mind in the least.
10. Talking Coral Plots Its Revenge Against Humanity
Deep in the recesses of the ocean lay thick forests swarming with thousands of species that are completely unbeknownst to mankind. Coral forests can grow 200 to 10,000 feet deep and can even inch out to the surface. Deep sea coral isn’t a plant, though. It’s an animal that feeds on other animals and it’s been living for hundreds of thousands of years. Coral is the breeding ground for lots of creepy crawly stuff, and scientists project it attracts approximately 1,200 varying species of venomous fish each year. Are you ready for the best part? The coral talks, sort of.
We’ve recently learned that the fish and the coral converse with each other via smell and distress signals on a regular basis. This “ocean language” seems to be translatable to everyone except us pesky humans. Then again, ocean life forms wouldn’t have any reason to be angry with us, would they? It’s not like we keep showing up each summer, trampling through their homes, feeding their offspring gasoline and catching their siblings in giant nets or anything like that. Still, the signals the coral is sending out seem to translate to those of distress and the whole ocean is catching an earful.
9. Ocean Animal Urine Surrounds You On All Sides
Meanwhile, back on the surface, you’re surrounded by a new variety of danger. Ocean animal urine. Ordinarily, when you picture pee, you expect that you’ll only find it in the pool. You better believe it, though, children are whizzing up a whirlpool right next to you every time they get the urge but that’s not the urine we’re discussing. Forget about the human urine, alright? Just put that out of your mind. Its massive abundance could never be fully appreciated, particularly if you think long and hard about our sewer system. Let’s deal, instead, with only the urine fish and other ocean creatures create because we’re sure you haven’t dedicated a sufficient amount of time to thinking about that.
We’ll begin with whales. A colossal marine mammal like the Fin whale, who weighs in at a whopping 160,000 pounds is dropping approximately 974 liters of urine into the ocean in a single day. That’s the equivalent to 487 two-liter sodas or three bathtubs full of pee, whichever you’d prefer diving into. That’s just one whale in one day. The growing shark population is making a great contribution in the effort to urinate the water as well but sharks don’t urinate the same way as most. They do the deed by excreting urea through their skin. Ew! And finally, you have to think about the fish. Their bladders are so active that they even pee in schools. But in all seriousness, they don’t call the ocean “Earth’s toilet” for nothing. It really is the only place on the planet overflowing with this much pee.
8. All That Urine Won’t Save You From The Fatal Sting Of A Venomous Box Jellyfish
Contrary to popular opinion, taking a whiz on a wound from a poison jellyfish won’t soften the blow. If that were true, you’d be plenty cured just by remaining in the water. This being said, most jellyfish are only out to sting, but the Box jellyfish, a ghostly-looking specimen with 9.8 ft tentacles that can murder you in seconds, is the exception. One of the coolest aspects of this deadly skin sucker is its near-invisible presence in the water. It’s basically see-through and sneaky as ever. Unlike other types of jellyfish who glide in the direction of the tide, sending out subtle warning shocks and traveling on their merry way, the Box jellyfish is totally in tune. It swims with a specific destination in mind and it is always on the hunt for moving prey. The Box jellyfish travels at a respectable speed of approximately 4 knots per second and has been referred to by the media as ‘the world’s most venomous creature”. Best of all, unlike other jellyfish and marine life, the sting of a Box jellyfish only tingles once the fatal venom has been injected and your fate is sealed.
7. 33 Million Tons of Carbon Shower You From Above
When you think about dangers in the rolling waves, you’re probably thinking about things that swim, bite, claw, maim, etc. While all of that is certainly cruising along the shoreline with you, there are dangers overhead as well, elements you might not have considered. Take, for instance, all of those pretty planes looming above you. Some of them are dragging signs behind them that say things like, “Will You Marry Me?” Some of them are trailing advertisements through the sky. Still others are carrying droves of people to exotic destinations for one last summer fling. All of them are dropping toxic carbon, and tons of it, 33 million tons of it annually to be exact, and leaving it there, filtering around the ocean. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, these toxic gases are creating a greenhouse effect that is not only bad for your health, but also a massive contributing factor for climate change. They claim that electric-powered aviation is the best way to repair the problem, but in the meantime, you’re sipping mouthfuls of this stuff every time you accidentally get splashed with your mouth open.
6. The Ocean Defies The Laws Of Physics
One of the many reasons scientists are having trouble ascertaining information about the deep blue sea, (and this factoid seriously stands to confirm that it is truly an otherworldly sort of realm) is the fact that the ocean defies the laws of science. Keep in mind that we have yet to discover most of what’s going on out there, but what we do know simply does not add up. Here are just a few of the many examples we’ve seen recently.
The ocean changes like the tide—Various parts of the ocean have been explored and documented but later, when they were explored again, they looked entirely different. For example, land that once was flat might later appear bumpy, fish change gender at will, plant life grows and later isn’t there. Envision yourself in a forest. You’re trying to get home but you can’t find your way because the forest looks different every time you turn around. This is what is happening in the ocean. Equally baffling are the waves. The ocean, always full of surprises, sometimes features killer waves that come out of nowhere, knocking down everything in their path. Wait…
5. Killer Waves Come Out Of Nowhere, Knocking Down Everything In Their Path
Not to be confused with tidal waves, which we’ll cover extensively in just a minute, killer waves, also known as “rogue waves,” are deadly because of their spontaneity. These waves are seemingly unpredictable, accumulating in seconds and sprouting from the open water, crashing over unexpected swimmers. Their massive height often doubles that of an average wave and they’ve been known to sink whole ships in their wake. Imagine what a rogue wave might do if it got hold of little old you. Rogue waves are one of many ocean wonders that were once filed under mythology and have only been scientifically confirmed since the year 2000. Their presence is eerie for a multitude of reasons.
First, they stand to prove that once again, scientists were wrong about the ocean. Much of what we thought was legend is now turning out to be fact. This leaves the door wide open for other startling phenomenon in the way of sea creatures. Also, while they seem to pop up out of nowhere, they are almost always a precursor to even bigger disaster; the storm before the storm so to speak. Should you survive the crash of a colossal rogue wave, prepare for something even larger to cross you in the next few minutes.
4. The See Through “Spook Fish” Has Got A Lot On His Mind
Yet another mythical creature has been caught on camera in the wake of the age of the smart phone. The Barreleye “Spook Fish” splashes around in the shallow end with a transparent head and a brain that looks like it’s growing seaweed! Not sure you’d want to go head to head with this guy. Little is known about him, aside from the obviously creepy physique and the fact that he usually hangs out about 2,000 feet beneath the surface and “scans the water above for food” according to National Geographic. Now, at this point, you might be wondering how he could scan the surface for food from that depth. If you guessed binocular vision, you get a point. This fish has eyes that can only be compared to the glass canopy found on modern jet fighters. He’s basically got two telescopes for eyes and his brain, well, you’ve seen it, there’s a whole lot happening in there that we still don’t understand.
3. Underwater Storms Are Brewing
Ever wondered how the ocean exists in its constant state of change? Well, new developments have proven that a major contributing factor to the ocean’s many “makeovers” is the notorious underwater storm. Like rogue waves, underwater storms seem to pop up unexpectedly. Some can be as huge as 90 miles wide. These storms create strong currents that can suck you into oblivion and they are also believed to be stirring up life on the ocean’s bed. According to a Huffington Post writer, underwater hurricanes can generate waves that are 60 feet or even higher, moving sunken ships, annihilating coral reefs, and even ripping oil pipelines in the process. They also manage to murder much of the ocean’s sea life in the process, which is why horseshoe crabs and small fish often wash up on the shore following such disasters. Fortunately for you, sharks are so in tune with the ocean that they can sense these things well before they occur, so the massively increasing shark population will not be adversely affected due to these unprecedented underwater hurricanes. Phew!
2. It’s The Devil’s Lair
Many of the world’s major religions are in disagreement in terms of very pivotal points but most of them agree on where the devil is. That’s right, the major religions on Earth have all pinpointed the ocean as the demon’s secret hideaway with some religions drawing up rather explicit descriptions of the maniacal figure ruling over the seas, setting up shop, and plotting with his evil minions. If all of this is just a bit too difficult an image for you to accept, consider the point made above. Much of what was previously thought of as legend is turning out to be fact in regard to the many mysteries of the ocean. So, don’t be so quick to write this one off just because you yourself might not believe in religion. Remember that religion has gone on to predict some of the most baffling archaeological finds ever uncovered in the deep blue sea. Examples include Noah’s Ark, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the barrier separating salt water from fresh water. With all of these points having already been settled, does the ocean as an evil lair seem so preposterous?
1. Tsunamis Can Travel At Speeds Of 500 Miles Per Hour and Wipe Out Whole Countries
So, you read through all 31 of our terrifying ocean facts and you’ve decided we’re right. It’s best to just sit back and enjoy the rest of your vacay in the hotel room. You’ve got a nice, safe pool there, and maybe even a hot tub, too. If you’re really lucky, you might even have a hottie to share your hot tub with. You’ll work on your tan. Hey, maybe you’ll even have a big bash with barbeque, seafood, and fireworks. Sounds like an excellent plan except…
The threat of tidal waves still looms. Tidal waves and tsunamis can still get to you even if you never leave your hotel. Tidal waves are colossal, wall-like waves that occur as a result of the gravitational pull. They happen according to the alignment of the sun, the tide and the moon, adding an element of mystery to their domineering force.
Tsunamis, on the other hand, occur as the result of a meteor, volcanic eruption or landslide. They have been known to take down entire cities in one fell swoop. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami managed to make its way across 14 different countries and wipe approximately 130,000 people right off the face of the Earth. It’s probably worth pointing out the fact that about 80% of tsunamis take place within the ocean’s notorious “Ring of Fire.” If that’s not the work of the devil at play, then what is? Enjoy the view from your balcony…