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A world to discover


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Three years ago, humanity embarked on a new and fantastic journey: the journey of discovering the marine depths.

Since then, around 300 scientists from 53 countries have brought the Census of Marine Life to life. With a budget of 1 billion dollars and a ten-year work plan, the results have been absolutely astonishing.

Every year, 1,700 previously unknown species are being cataloged. The census estimates that the 210,000 known animal and plant life forms currently represent only one-tenth of the total existing in all the world’s oceans. From these incredible numbers, it emerges that there are at least 5,000 fish species unknown to humans.

Ron O’Dor, chief scientist of the census, explained, “The number of species being cataloged is more than we can keep track of. The oceans are poorly explored; we probably only know ten percent of what exists there, at best.”

The world’s oceans, which cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, make this a monumental task. It is estimated that there are around 30,000 submerged mountains in the Pacific Ocean alone. Each of them is a specific habitat for life forms that we may not even imagine. Today’s technology allows researchers to reach places they could not access in the past. The doors of the sea are opening to humanity, and within its depths, we may find answers we can’t even fathom. It is incredible that humans know much more about the surface of Jupiter than about the depths of our own seas.

Just when we thought there was nothing new to discover, we find ourselves submerged in our profound ignorance. We wander among the waves like Christopher Columbus, searching for something we don’t quite know what it is, but we know it is there, and it is important to find it.

“One cannot defend what one does not love, and one cannot love what one does not know.”