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Mariana Trench

Standing on the beach is a very humbling experience. From Melbourne Beach, it’s about 6,000 miles due east until you hit the Sahara Desert. Last time I was there, I started wondering about the depths of the oceans around the world. The deepest spot on the earth’s oceans is the Mariana Trench.  

The Mariana Trench is in the western Pacific Ocean, due east of the Mariana Islands. It is crescent shaped and is 1,554 miles long and 44 miles wide. Towards the southern end of the Mariana Trench lies the Challenger Deep. It sits 36,070 feet below sea level, making it the point most distant from the water’s surface and the deepest part of the Trench.  

Imagine seven miles on the highway. Now, take those miles and point them straight down into the Pacific. It is really a challenge to imagine water that deep – or should I say, having that much water on top of you. Normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch. At the bottom of the Mariana Trench, that pressure climbs to more than 16,000 pounds per square inch. 

You would think that, at that depth, the ocean would be dead silent. NOAA dropped a hydrophone in the Challenger Deep trough and left it for three weeks. When they raised it for a listen, they were very surprised by how much they heard. The noise was reported as being nearly constant with both natural and man-made noise. Sounds of ships, earthquakes, whales, dolphins, fish and, luckily, a Category 4 cyclone that just happened to pass over were heard during the three-week period.  

Now, add absolute total darkness. With this mixture, sustainable life at that depth would seem impossible. Amazingly, some of the most exotic animals ever discovered live there. Look up pictures of some of these animals. Here is a list of a few of them: the dumbo octopus, anglerfish, frilled shark, goblin shark, barreleye, snailfishes and comb jellies. The concept of life existing in these conditions really is amazing. If you believe it, God made these animals too.

God bless you all, RHM.

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