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How much of the Earth's oceans have been explored? © Getty Images

How much of the Earth's oceans have been explored?

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We have better maps of Mars than for most of our own planet's seabed.

Asked by: Martin Glover, Canterbury

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The entire planet has been mapped, but the resolution of the data for most of the ocean is much lower than for land. Only about five per cent of the ocean floor has been mapped to the equivalent of a 1:50,000 OS map. Radar doesn’t penetrate well through water, so maps must be compiled by ships with multibeam sonar. We have better maps of Mars than for most of the seabed.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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