Take a small stone and drop it in a bowl of water from a fair height. You will hear a plonk sound. Everyone loves it. Throwing stones in a body of water is a fun activity, and people do it all the time – especially around lakes while enjoying a picnic with the family. Now imagine throwing a stone in the sea. Will you hear the same sound? Certainly not! The sea is far bigger than a lake, and a tiny stone won’t make any difference to it.
Our dear Earth is 71 percent water, and the oceans alone hold more than 95 percent of all the water on the Earth. That is a lot of water! The oceans are so huge that even in these modern times, more than 80 percent of the oceans remain unexplored and unmapped. A sea is the part of an ocean where it meets the land. According to 1982 conventions, a total of 22km from the coastline comes under the authority of a sovereign country. The rest do not belong to anyone.
These lawless oceans are not only enormous in size; they are deeper than the highest mountain on the Earth. Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean, with a depth of 36,201 feet. If we place Mount Everest in the Mariana trench, its peak will not break the water’s surface.
Let us all consider an impossible but fun scenario that will further explain the gigantic existence of oceans. Imagine that every human on the Earth has been infected with a deadly virus that compels them to jump into the nearest sea. It must be satisfying to imagine every human on the planet casually walking to the beach and going straight into the water. What will become of the ocean then?
To get an answer, we’ll have to get our calculators out as it is time to use basic mathematical skills. To start our calculations, we will need the following data:
- The population of Earth = 7.6 billion
- Average mass of a person ≈ 50 kg
- Males = 75 kg
- Females = 50 kg
- Children = 25 kg
- The average volume of a person ≈ 1000 kg/m3
- 50 liters per 50 kg person
- The volume of the entire human population: 7.6 billion * 50 liters/person ≈ 380 billion liters
- 0.4 cubic kilometers
- Estimated volume of the oceans ≈ 1.37 billion cubic kilometers
It’s now time for an explanation of the above data. There are about 7.6 billion people on Earth – for every 101 males, we have 100 females. Children also make up one-third of the entire population. So on average, we can take 50 kg as the average mass of humans on Earth.
We calculated the volume of a 50 kg human using this mass, which turned out to be 50 liters. The final thing is the entire estimated volume of the ocean that is a staggering 1.37 billion cubic meters. By dividing the volume of the ocean with the volume of the human population, we get an answer of 0.000000003, a fraction of a millimeter. You can compare this result by taking a small raisin and dropping it into an Olympic-sized swimming pool. That raisin would have the same effect as that of every human diving into the oceans
In simple words, a mass diving of humans would literally make no difference to the ocean. The water level will rise by only a tiny fraction of a millimeter which can be easily neglected. The fish and other tons of species in the ocean will get plenty of food for a few days, and then it will be back to normal.
From humanity’s point of view, an ordeal like that may cause half the population on the Earth to be depleted. Those who can’t swim will surely drown, and the rest will get caught in the crowd. Only a handful will make it back to the land. A lot of them will die of starvation since many people live far away from the coastlines. In the end, it will be something out of a post-apocalyptic movie about survivors of mass diving.