In one of my favorite movies (The Abyss), one of my favorite actors (Ed Harris = HAWT) goes to the bottom of the ocean and discovers intelligent life. Although the movie makes me gasp for air and desire a personal oxygen tank, I always watch it when it's on TV. The movie is just as powerful today as it was back in 1989. Sadly, we've never been able to truly explore the depths of the ocean. Until now.
Richard Branson is best known for his Virgin brand. We all know about the planes, right? Yes. And perhaps we also know about the new spaceship. Now, Branson is focusing his energy on what is below us. On his blog, he recently posted:
"What if I were to tell you about a planet, inhabited by ‘intelligent’ beings that had, in the 21st Century, physically explored 0% of its deepest points and mapped only 3% of its oceans by unmanned craft, when 70% of that planet’s surface was made up of water. Then I tried to convince you that only 10% of the life forms inhabiting that unknown world, are known to those on the surface – you’d think I’d fallen asleep watching the latest sci-fi blockbuster! Then you discover that planet is Earth... "
That got my attention. Oh, yes, it did. And so did this:
Virgin Oceanic will be going down to those deep, dark depths to take a peek at our unknown abysses. Abyssi? Whatevs. It's going DEEP. What will we find there? What secrets about our dear planet can we finally unlock?
After two years of searching, authorities finally found the remains of Air France Flight 447. There is some controversy about whether or not the bodies of the deceased should be brought back to the surface. (Sadly, the families really have no say in the matter.) The news was interesting, but the photographs were what stayed with me. It's so eerie to see manmade items on the ocean floor. Wheels. Windows. Luggage. It shouldn't be there. Because it is so very foreign, my eyes locked on the images. I felt the silence they portrayed. It was very sad.
So far, most of my knowledge about our oceans is what kind of crap we have left it in it -- garbage, wrecks, oil. I want to know about the life down there. What is beautiful and priceless about our oceans? What secret treasures will we discover? What kinds of images can I look at that will inspire me instead of depressing me? What kinds of crazy, light-up fish can I marvel at? Richard Branson will let me know after he takes a dive. He may be the world's last great explorer -- and we are so lucky to be enjoying the ride right along with him. Go, Richard, go!
Blondie writes at Tales From Clark Street.
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