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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds DR.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds JON COPLEY: The deep ocean intersects our everyday lives in ways that, most of the time, we’re not aware of. Hydrocarbons, oil, and gas that we use are being taken from deeper and deeper waters. We’re also seeing fishing in deeper waters. Consumer goods are shipped around the planet by surface ships for the most part, not aircraft. Here we are in Southampton one of the UK’s busiest container ports, where we see that traffic arriving here in our country. If you make a telephone call from the UK to somewhere like Australia, the signal doesn’t bounce around off satellites to get to the other side of the world. It’s carried by submarine communications cable.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds 97% of our telecommunications traffic, including the internet, now travels around the globe by those cables across the deep ocean. Just as space exploration provided spin-off benefits for everyday lives, so we’re starting to see those kinds of benefits now coming from deep sea exploration, everything from perhaps better fibre optic communication cables, based on the glass skeletons of deep sea sponges and the way that nature has produced those, to potentially new medical treatments, from deep sea life, and even perhaps more efficient washing powders in the future that can clean our clothes in colder water by taking a tip from the bacteria that digests the fats in the bones of whale skeletons on the cold ocean floor.

The deep ocean in our everyday lives

Just as we have been affecting the deep ocean environment (as you saw in the video ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind?’), so the deep ocean has a variety of impacts on our everyday lives.

In this video, Dr Jon Copley introduces just a few of the spin-off benefits coming from ocean exploration.

Explore the links below to learn more about everyday uses of the ocean and its resources, and some of the “spin offs” from exploring the oceans and marine life. You don’t need to read all of the links, but they are provided to show some of the many ways that the ocean is linked to our everyday lives.

Transport of goods

Communication cables

  • This map shows the full extent of the undersea cable network. [Zoom in, out and around the map or click on the navigation links on the right under ‘submarine cables’ to explore it].

  • Watch a video showing how undersea cables are laid



“Spin-offs” from exploring the oceans and marine life

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Exploring Our Ocean

University of Southampton

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