Between 1867 and 1927 the New Zealand government built, supplied, and maintained a set of supply huts on islands in the Southern Ocean so that no more castaways would starve to death while waiting for rescue.
In 1864 two ships were wrecked on the same desert island. Despite sharing the island for an entire year, the crews never met and had no idea they were not alone.
Gannets have evolved some very strange adaptations that make them some of the best divers in the natural world.
The USS Triton was the first submarine to circumnavigate the world completely underwater. It was spotted just once, by a Filipino fisherman.
The fastest sailing route around the world – the Clipper route – is also the most dangerous.
The bristlemouth, a small ugly genus of fish found in the ocean twilight zone, is probably the most common vertebrate on the planet – estimates go as high as the quadrillions.
How about that time that the Egyptian Mamluks, with secret support from Venice, battled the Portuguese in the sea off the coast of India?
On 17 February 1832 – at the bidding of Neptune, god of the sea – Charles Darwin was blindfolded, his face covered in paint and pitch, and he was dunked into a water bath. He had crossed the line for the first time.
A significant proportion of the food in the deepest ocean falls from discarded giant larvacean houses.
In 1962 the United States detonated a nuclear bomb in outer space over Hawai’i. It caused an artificial aurora in the sky over Honolulu – and another one over Samoa, more than four thousand kilometres away.
Inaccessible Island, in the south Atlantic, is surrounded by steep sea cliffs that make landing and entering the interior nearly impossible.
In 2006 scientists in Iceland caught a clam that was born eight years after Christopher Columbus sailed to America.
Bridges go over water. Tunnels go under water. How about the Archimedes bridge, a hypothetical tunnel design that goes through water instead?
Zeppelins, U-boats, the Titanic, Dunkirk, the Klondike Gold Rush, the Great Smog, castaways, cowboys, and hobos all had one thing in common: Charles Lightoller.
How high does the high tide go? In the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the difference between high and low tides is more than 16 metres. But at several points in the world’s oceans, called the tidal nodes, the sea level doesn’t change at all.
How do you measure ocean flow? One sverdrup equals a million cubic metres of water per second. All of the world’s rivers emptying into the ocean is 1.2 sverdrups; the largest current in the world is more than a hundred times larger.