By Heather Cahill on March 08, 2018
Most of the world is covered in ocean, which is why our blue planet is blue. Even though we cannot yet live on this majority of our planet's surface, oceans are the source of human survival. They provide food, they enable rapid transport and transit of goods, and lifeforms contained within them support every ecosystem on the planet.
Without them, we would have a lot more land, sure, but we wouldn't have a breathable atmosphere, and we'd probably still be exploring the planet's surface since we wouldn't have gotten around very fast.
Access to the shoreline is one of the most significant deciding factors in the success of human civilization. The "Roman pond" of the Mediterranean sustained more great empires than almost any other patch of water by merely giving them easy access to their own territories.
Meanwhile, New York City became the most significant trading port in North America by virtue of its massive deepwater harbor, which wiggles around so much that it provides a shocking 650 miles of coastline for just the one city.
Despite all this wealth and opportunity, we often don't know what's beneath the surface - but we have begun to explore and bring back a few choice facts. Let's see if you know them!