1040: Lakes and Oceans
|Lakes and Oceans|
Title text: James Cameron has said that he didn't know its song would be so beautiful. He didn't close the door in time. He's sorry.
This comic is a scale representation of our lakes and oceans, with an emphasis on how little we know about our oceans. It shows the depths and lengths to in relative scale. The Edmund Fitzgerald was a Great Lakes freighter which sank in 1975. The K-141 Kursk was a Russian nuclear submarine which sank in 2000 after an explosion. The RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner which was famously sunk in 1915, eventually prompting the United States to enter World War I. All three of these ships were sunk in water that was shallower than they were long. The shortest was the K-141 Kursk, which was 154 metres long, and sunk in water only 100 metres deep.
Also on the diagram is the Titanic, which famously sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, and the Seawise Giant, which is the largest ship ever built, at 485 metres. It was scrapped in 2010. The Deepwater Horizon is an offshore oil well which made headlines after an explosion in 2010 caused the world's largest oil spill. The skyscraper the Burj Khalifa is also shown. The Burj Khalifa is the world tallest manmade structure, and is located in the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The Chilean mine showed on the far right is the San José Mine, which suffered a collapse in 2010, trapping 33 men 700 metres underground for 69 days. The Kola Superdeep Borehole also shown on the right was a Soviet (and later Russian) research project attempting to drill as deep into the earth's crust as possible. It was abandoned in 2005, after reaching a record of 12,262 metres deep.
Also shown are several notable bodies of water. There are the Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. Death Valley is a large, desert valley in California, named because the deadly climate and dry environment support very few life forms. Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake in North America, and is located in the North West Territories, in Canada. Crater Lake is located in Oregon, and is the deepest lake in the United States. Loch Ness is the Scottish lake which is the location of the alleged "Loch Ness Monster". Lake Baikal is located in Russia and Mongolia, and is the world's deepest lake. On the far right side of the image is the Dead Sea, a lake near Jordon and Israel which is characterized for having such high salt levels that the waters cannot sustain life (and thus, it's literally a "dead" sea).
In the water, the Andrea Gail was a ship that sunk in a storm in 1991, and was later eulogized with a book and film. Several depth limits are shown, including the free-diving record (273 metres), the scuba diving record (330 metres), the depth bike tires go flat (approximately 100 metres), the depth at which water rushes in instead of air rushing out (approximately 2000 metres), the pressure that would push a cork into a bottle (approximately 250 metres), the depth that would push water up a faucet (approximately 75 metres), the depth an emperor penguin can dive (535 metres), the depth limit of an Ohio-class submarine (240 metres), the depth limit of a Typhoon class submarine (400 metres), the depth limit of a blue whale (500 metres), and the depth a leatherback sea turtle can dive (1280 metres).
The comic also illustrates how sperm whales can dive as deep as 3000 metres (though don't frequently go deeper than 400 metres). It is presumed that they dive so deep to feed on giant squid, which can be found as deep as 3000 metres (but, to our knowledge, are more commonly found in depths of 300 to 1000 metres). The fact that sperm whales can dive so deep and come up battered emphasizes Randall's point that we know so little about our oceans. Also shown are the depth limit of the DSV Alvin, a deep-sea vessel, the mid-ocean ridge, an underwater mountain range which could be considered to be the largest mountain range in the world, the Puerto Rico Trench (and the included Milwaukee Deep), which is the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, at 8648 metres, and the Mariana Trench, the deepest point of the Pacific Ocean at 10,944 metres. At the bottom of the Mariana Trench, pressure is as high as 1086 bars and life forms have been found at depths as low as 10,641 metres.
The marked abyssal plains are a deep-sea plain believed to hold a very diverse array of life forms, but are largely unexplored. The stick figures of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury are a reference to Bowie's and Queen's songs "Under Pressure". The label "the abyss" with its sublabel of "it's rude to stare" is a reference to the Friedrich Nietzsche quote, "when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back".
The reference of the door at the bottom of the Marianas Trench is a reference to James Cameron's attempt to reach the bottom of the trench in his Deepsea Challenger vessel, which he filmed with 3D cameras. The title text's allusion of music playing when Cameron opened this door is a reference to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Harry Potter obtains a golden egg which sings, but can only be understood underwater. It and the reference in the strip to the door positioned as a hatch could also be a reference to the hatch in TV's Lost series, which characters spent several seasons trying to get into, the accomplishment of that desire ultimately leading to many deaths and calamities.
- [Map of lakes and oceans showing the depths of various lakes and ocean attributes.]
- Lakes and Oceans
- Depths and animal/ship/boat lengths are to scale; horizontal distance is not
- Fun Fact: The Edmund Fitzgerald, The Kursk, and The Lusitania all sank in water shallower than they were long.
- Edmund Fitzgerald
- Lake Superior
- Lake Michigan
- Lake Huron
- Lake Erie
- Lake Ontario
- Death Valley
- Great Slave Lake
- Crater Lake
- Loch Ness
- Lake Baikal
- Burj Khalifa
- Aircraft carrier
- Seawise Giant (largest ship ever)
- Free-diving depth record
- Andrea Gail (probably)
- Scuba record
- Bike tires go flat
- Pressure at this deapth would force water up a household faucet
- Emperor penguin
- Ohio-class nuclear sub depth limit
- Typhoon-class nuclear sub depth limit
- Blue whale
- Leahterback turtle
- Deepwater horizion
- Dead sea
- Kola borehole: Soviet project to try to drill through the Earth's crust to the mantle just to see what would happen. Russians are awesome.
- Chilean mine collapse' miner refuge
- Sperm whales dive this deep (they come up covered in wounds and sucker marks, so presumably there are big squid down here? ... man, we know nothing about the ocean.)
- Mid-ocean ridge
- Titanic (sunk bow & stern)
- Abyssal plain
- Alvin depth limit
- David Bowie & Freddie Mercury
- Puerto Rico Trench
- Milwaukee Deep
- Marianas Trench
- Challenger Deep
- Mysterious door which James Cameron built his sub to reach and open. He will not say what he found within.
- Mauna Kea, Hawaii (accurate horizontal scale)
- Marianas trench