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Ocean Literacy and Exploration Essay

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Updated: Apr 29th, 2022

Ocean literacy implies an understanding of the mutual influences between the ocean and human beings. Since the ocean has been described as one of the largest features available on earth, occupying approximately 71% of the earth’s surface, its influence on daily human lives is inevitable, and in the same way, humans cannot live without regular interactions with the ocean for survival and other conveniences.

As a result, there has been a lot of curiosity like oceans, and consequently, myriad of studies have been carried out to understand this feature. Despite this effort, it has been estimated through ocean literacy principle number 7that the ocean is greatly unexplored in the sense that only a very small fraction of the ocean is within human knowledge and the rest remains a mystery.

In this era of great scientific knowledge, it remains unbelievable that much of the ocean is still unknown. Why would this be said? An in-depth examination of principle seven’s fundamental concepts could help us in this understanding bearing in mind that ocean literacy may not be attained in totality.

From the onset of “human-ocean interaction and exploration in the fifteenth century” (Garrison, 2011, p.16) and despite ocean being the largest feature of the earth, only 5% of the ocean is known (Ocean Literacy Network, 2011). Why would it be that at this era of advanced information technology, 95% of the ocean remains in the dark?

The percentage of the landmass is approximately 29%, and out of all this, only half of it is under human existence. The exploration entails more than mere curiosity, and this presents great oceanic exploration opportunities to future generations for understanding its processes and systems.

There has been rising increase in the use of oceanic resources over the last four decades, an implication that there is a need for sustainability of these resources and further understanding of their future prospective uses and limitations.

This perspective has increased new technological tools such as subsea observatories, unmanned submarines, satellites and buoys to name but a few, for surveillance and further exploration of the ocean. This step has been thought of as the only solution to increasing human understanding of the ocean within a shorter duration for the increment of oceanic usage (Ocean Literacy Network, 2011).

Besides technology and physical apparatus, Wehr (2011) argues that oceanic understanding has taken an interdisciplinary approach whereby pure sciences such as chemistry, biology, and physics have been greatly used in collaborations with climatology, engineering, programming, meteorology and geology as new ways of thinking in an attempt to understand the ocean.

Mathematics has also been involved in an abstractive way by using mathematical models to understand climatic and oceanic interactions. These models have been thought to transform observations and facilitate the description of systematic interactions.

From the discussion, it is evident that a greater percentage of the ocean remains unknown since oceanic exploration entails more than mere curiosity. Fifteen percent of the world is struggling to understand 100% of the world, and this requires time and patience.

Over the last four decades, there has been an increase in the use of oceanic resources leading to curiosity and hence new technological tools for surveillance. Mathematical models have also been involved in an abstractive way of understanding ocean-climatic interactions since they are thought to process observations and thus facilitate their understanding.


Garrison, T. S. (2009). Essentials of Oceanography. New York: Brooks/Cole Publishing. (2011). Ocean Literacy Principle #7. Web.

Wehr, K. (2011). Green Culture: An A-to-Z Guide. California: Sage Publications.

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