Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Deep Sea Exploration
l have told you about the creatures that live around my lighthouse home many times.
But the seas around me are relatively shallow compared to some places in the ocean. ln the depths of these cold and dark places are creatures that l have never seen.
lt is often said that we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the deep beds of the ocean.
You may imagine that the seabed is flat like a sandy beach, but in fact deep under the oceans there are mountain ranges and deep gullies just like on land.
The oceans provide 95% of our planet’s living space and yet many of the creatures that live there are as yet unknown to us.
Two hundred metres below the waves, the light begins to fade. Below that the temperature drops dramatically and the pressure increases to such a level that no land animal could survive; they would be crushed.
But thousands of fish, corals, worms, jellyfish and shellfish have adapted to living in these conditions.
Scientists are learning more about this undersea world by using submarines, some of which are occupied by humans, some of which are controlled from people remaining above the waves and stationed on ships.
Man has always wanted to explore underwater. The first divers were probably aided by papyrus reeds that they used as air tubes.
The famous pearl divers of Asia have the ability, through much practice, to take a lung full of air and dive down to up to a hundred feet under the sea; but this is dangerous for them. lt can result in damaging their bodies or even death. This practice has gone on for thousands of years.
When divers dive without taking oxygen with them; it is called ‘free-diving’.
Many ancient diving bells were built through history. Some looked like glass barrels. Some were like upturned cups; the pressure of the water outside trapped air inside them and they were big enough to contain one or two men.
Of course the men could not stay down under the water for very long because the oxygen inside the bell would run out after a while, so some of them were equipped with hoses that ran up to the surface to feed the bell with new air. These bells evolved into diving bell suits which also had an air hose attached to them. These suits enabled the divers inside them to walk about on the ocean floor.
There are modern diving bells too that transport a small number of divers down into the sea to work. Some are like cages that fill with water once sunk, and some are sealed and remain dry inside. They differ from submarines in that they do not have the ability to be driven around. They are lowered attached to a cable.
Diving bells have also been used for submarine rescue. They can lock onto the escape hatch of a submarine allowing the occupants to escape and they are then taken to the surface.
lt is widely held that the first submarine as we know them today was invented by a Dutch man called Cornelius Drebbel working under King James l. The vessel had a timber structure and was covered with animal skins. There were oars poking through the sides to move the submarine along under the water. The openings were sealed with tight-fitting leather straps.
This submersible craft was tested on the River Thames sometime during or just after 1620 – it is said that the king took a ride in it too at one time.
First deep-sea life forms were discovered by Norwegian researchers in 1864. Then in 1872, the British Government sent a laboratory ship out on a four year expedition to look for undiscovered marine life by taking samples from the seabed. They discovered more than 4,700 organisms.
ln the early 1900s, several inventions helped exploration further.
These included sonar which is a system of detecting objects by use of sound and deep-diving machines capable of carrying people. These submersibles were equipped with lights, cameras and robotic arms that could function at a depth of up to 4,000 metres. This is a depth that no diver could swim to.
ln 1943, a diver called Jacques-Yves Cousteau and an engineer called Emile Gagnan, both French, invented the aqualung. You have probably heard of SCUBA diving. Scuba stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. This allowed divers to stay underwater for several hours; however, this was still up to only a certain depth.
Travelling on a laboratory ship called the Calypso with a crew including his wife and two sons, Cousteau set out to study coral reefs, marine animals and other undersea life. What is more, he filmed his exploits bringing what he discovered to a world-wide television audience in his many documentaries.
Modern revolutionary diving suits built to withstand tremendous pressure can now take divers down to 600 metres. But to go further than this, divers need a specially constructed steel chamber lowered on a cable to protect them. This is called a bathysphere.
The bathyscaphe, a deep-sea navigable vessel, was invented in 1948. Over the years it was developed to sink ever deeper. lt wasn’t until 1960 that a dive to the deepest part of the ocean at nearly eleven thousand metres, the Mariana Trench, was attempted by the US Navy.
ln 2012, filmmaker James Cameron took a similar dive but this time filmed what he saw and also took samples from the seabed.
Many deep-sea submersibles are now employed around the world continually making new discoveries. The remote controlled ones are controlled through a cable from a ship on the surface of the sea or are programmed before being put into the water.
They are discovering a world that is very alien to us; undersea volcanoes that boil the sea and strange-looking creatures and animals that create their own light by using something called bioluminescence so that they glow in the dark waters.
Scientists are searching the deep seas for new mineral deposits like gold and things that they hope will make new medicines. Who knows what else they will find there.
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And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: Did you hear about the submariner who got fired?
Bill: Why did that happen?
Bob: He left a window open!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
Japanese pearl divers are often women
An early diving bell
Diving bells were different shapes
A modern diving bell
A diving bell suit from the 1950s – the boots were weighted to keep the diver on the sea floor
A replica of Drebbel’s submarine – you can see the two oar sockets in the side
A glowing jellyfish
Bone-eating snot-flowers are a kind of worm
They live on the carcasses of whales that have sunk to the sea bed
A bobtail squid can glow in the dark
An anglerfish before a meal
An anglerfish after a meal
There are mountain ranges under the sea
The sun’s rays only travel down so far
The clearer the water the further the sun’s rays can travel down
A shark around a coral reef
There is still much to discover in the murky depths!
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
Bill and Bob were at Auntie Alice’s cottage this week and while they were there, to amuse themselves, they prepared a puzzle especially for this week’s news desk.
See if you can answer their questions…
BILL AND BOB’S COUNTRIES QUIZ
Can you complete these words – they are all countries?
- S_ _ _ _ _ _ d
- U_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ s
- B_ _ _ _ _ m
- M_ _ _ _ _ _ a
- A_ _ _ _ _ _ _ a
- R_ _ _ _ a
- I_ _ _ _ _ d
- N_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ d
- E_ _ _ _ _ d
And here is a mystery picture that they found. I’ll give you a clue; it is something from under the sea.
After they finished they went out in the garden to play.
But Emily stayed indoors because Auntie Alice wanted to show her something.
While Bill and Bob were busy making their puzzle, Auntie Alice was making Emily a present. Emily is always losing her doll’s shoes because they are so tiny so Auntie Alice thought it would be a good idea if she has a shoe storage box to keep them in.
She said that something needed to be done otherwise her vacuum cleaner would be full of shoes!
If you are always exploring under the sofa and your bed and wardrobe for your doll’s shoes, you might like to make one too.
A 12” DOLL’S SHOE STORAGE BOX
You will need a small card box; maybe one that has had a roll of film in it or some stock cubes. This inner card box will keep your storage box rigid. You will also need a small piece of felt and some matching sewing thread.
- Cut the box down and measure it to fit the felt around.
- You will need to add 1mm each side to allow for the thickness of the felt.
Cut a base and 4 sides.
- The box in the photograph uses sizes of felt as follows:
Base 3.8cm x 3.8cm cut 1
Sides 4.5cm x 3.8cm cut 4
- Sew the pieces wrong sides together using small over-sew stitches.
Sew the bottom of the sides to the base then sew up each corner.
- The lid shouldn’t fit too tightly because you need to get it on and off easily.
Top 4.5cm x 4.5cm cut 1
Sides 4.5cm x 2cm cut 4
- Sew the pieces wrong sides together using small over-sew stitches.
Sew the top of the sides to the top of the lid then sew down each corner.
This idea would also work to make a toy storage box for a doll’s house if you used a smaller box.
Then Emily went out to play with Bill and Bob in the garden.
Bill and Bob playing in the garden
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
Do you know what these phrases mean?
- to take someone under one’s wing
- under someone’s nose
- under one’s own steam
- under someone’s thumb
- to go underground
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE A PUFFER FlSH PlNATA
If you would like to make a piñata for an up-coming party, make sure you make it at least a week before because it will need a lot of drying time.
YOU WILL NEED
Some kitchen roll
Some water-soluble glue (make up with water 2 parts water to 1 part glue) in a bowl
A length of string (about 1 metre or a yard)
- Blow up the balloon and rest it on the jar knot side down.
- Sticky tape it to the jar so that it won’t move about.
- Tear the newspaper into strips about 2-3cm wide.
- Dip the newspaper into the glue you have made up in a bowl and lay the wet strips onto the balloon.
- Cover the surface of the balloon down to the top of the jar.
- Put a top layer of kitchen paper over the newspaper.
- Leave to dry.
- Paint the piñata.
- Leave to dry.
- Paint on a face and fins – or you could make fins and tail with tissue paper.
- Pop the balloon.
- Make a small hole each side of the hole where the balloon was and thread through the string handle.
- Tie a knot in the string to make a handle.
- Fill the piñata with sweets.
- You could also put steamers and presents inside (but make sure the presents are unbreakable) there are many ideas for little presents on this blog.
You will also need to find a blindfold and stick to play the game.
Of course you could make a gruesome angler fish instead if you like.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Answers to the News Desk Quiz
- United States
- New Zealand
And did you guess what the mystery picture was?
It is an Arctic bowhead whale.
(Photo by Anna Cawthray)
Quick Quiz Answers
- to take someone under one’s wing – to take someone under one’s protection or guidance
- under someone’s nose – in front of someone
- under one’s own steam – by one’s own efforts/without help
- under someone’s thumb – under someone else’s control
- to go underground – to go into hiding
A steam train