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Scientists believe that life on Earth began in the ocean, approximately 4 billion years ago. And in fact, it was only about million years ago that life emerged from the ocean onto the land.
That means that ocean life has existed 8 times longer. So no matter how unimaginably long it was since the first creatures crawled out on land And even today, although living things now exist on nearly every part of the Earth's surface, in so many different forms, the ocean continues to be critically important to life on Earth.
Secondly, the oceans are a vital part of the water cycle that brings rain to our crops and forests -- and drinking water to our cities. And the ocean also produces much of the oxygen upon which all human beings, and animals, depend.
Many of our recent medical and scientific breakthroughs have been made possible in one way or another through ocean based research. Finally, the oceans provide fish and shellfish and other vital resources upon which humans depend, including jobs for millions of people. In fact, in the United States alone, 1 out of 6 jobs is marine related.
But the ocean's role doesn't end there. Because it's so vast and deep the ocean absorbs much of the heat and light that comes from the sun. In fact it is so deep average depth about 13, feet, with a maximum depth of 36, feetthat sunlight can't even reach the ocean floor in most places.
The sunlight, and it's warmth, seems to simply fade away as you go deeper into the ocean. But what really happens is a bit more complicated. In actual fact, there are currents at work within the ocean, causing the warm and cold water to move in complex patterns that control how the heat from the sun gets redistributed around the planet.
And these warm and cold ocean currents actually help drive our weather patterns. Here's another fascinating ocean fact: And yet a single study of a single small section of the deep ocean yielded species -- half of them previously undiscovered.
All this in an area half the size of a tennis court!
If this is what can be found in the relatively less populated ocean depths, imagine what would be found in a similar sized area located on the continental shelf!
What's more, given the variety of life that exits in the oceans' different depth and temperature zones, and oceanic regions, we can only imagine what remains to be discovered out there in the deep recesses of the ocean.
And yet as we said, much of the life in the seas exists relatively close to land. Which means it is also close to human beings and their pollution -- including run-off from dirty city drains and from farmlands that use pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
All of this disrupts breeding cycles and food webs and brings the delicate balance upon which our fisheries depend into jeopardy. This is why we've included resources below that you can use to educate yourself and others about caring for the ocean and the creatures that live there.
We've also included plenty of fascinating fact sources about different marine habitats and their underwater inhabitants. And of course, since learning about the ocean is so much fun, we'll be adding plenty of craft and activity resources for younger children. Watch this video to learn why a healthier ocean means a healthier planet, and find out how you can help.Science topics are interesting to write and easy to research because there are so many current and reputable journals online.
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Find dozens of valuable science teaching ideas in our Science Subject Center. Scientists believe that life on Earth began in the ocean, approximately 4 billion years ago. And in fact, it was only about million years ago that life .