For thousands of years of mankind’s recorded history we have tales of tales of daring exploration into uncharted and often hostile territory. It seems it was relatively easy to send map makers ahead to chart the Americas, to cross the South Pole, and even to map the back side of the moon and the planets in our solar system. It was a great accomplishment to climb Mount Everest (and make it back down alive) in the mid 20th century, but on planet earth it seems we’ve run out of places to uncover. That is true unless you consider that the land we’ve explored makes up only a third of the surface area of our world. We have a vast realm left to explore beneath the oceans and with a little innovation we could gain just as much as discovering new continent on land. Jules Verne had the right idea in the 19th century with his voyage under the seas. For the interest of trekkers and expeditioners there’s great potential for challenging and very rewarding excursions among some magnificent mountain ranges and infernal chasms underwater in remote destinations. I already know what you may be thinking though, because the thought of jumping out of a perfectly good ocean vessel in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from dry land, sounds bleak and perilous. It sounds like almost certain death being crushed with the forces of an unspeakable depth, but then that sounds a lot like getting past the Khumbu Icefall on the way up to the summit of Mt. Everest.
The intriguing variation on climbing mountains that are below the oceans is that you would start your expedition at the summit, and traveling down the slopes would challenge your body and your technology to withstand the immense atmospheric pressure. There are some undersea mountains that rival the most challenging peaks above sea level, and they remain dark and undiscovered. There are many very curious geologists and marine biologists who have been working to bring at least unmanned vehicles down as far as possible to examine the structures and sea life, and each voyage brings unexpected and surreal views that have no correlation to our life here in the air. I myself have gone along to watch one of these deployments on a research vessel from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) out of Moss Landing, California. I got to watch the live video feed from the submersible robot that plunged down to the length of its power and control cable. That happens to be at the edge of an unimaginably deep underwater canyon that drops miles and miles down to the bottom. That is a favorite place to explore because it is rich with creatures straight out of H. P. Lovecraft stories. Considering our nature for daring exploration I wonder why we’re so timid about taking the plunge on this one.exploration hiking landscape mountains oceans travel trekking