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更新时间:2015-12-30 浏览次数:0


Earth's Last Frontier:The Sea 海洋,地球最后的待开发疆域

1. "We've all gone a little crazy about the outer space2 business," says Vice Admiral C.B. Momsen. "The ocean is the place where we should be putting our efforts in order to provide for future generations.''


2. Seventy-one percent of the earth's surface is covered by water. An observer,looking at the earth from another planet,would be likely to call it Oceanus. If all the continents and mountains were bulldozed flat,the earth would be covered by water more than 12,000 feet deep.


3. Sea and air are divided by a viscous curtain; beneath the curtain is an element weighing 800 times as much as air,utterly dark a few fathoms down,and with pressures that would pulp a man at 3,000 feet. Yet we know that many animals live in the deeps at pressures of 15,000 pounds per square inch.


4. As a life environment,the sea is a kind of land turned upside down. The sunlit pastures are at the top,where the water is saturated with tiny drifting vegetables,phytoplankton,and equally minute animals,zooplankton. The athletic animals come up to graze in this fertile prairie and become links in extensive food chains,formed roughly along the lines3 suggested by Shakespeare:


5. "Master,I marvel how the fishes live in the sea."


6. "Why,as we do a-land: the great ones eat up the little ones."


7. The food chains extend to the abyss. The most amazing fact about this inverted life pyramid is that only 2% of the nutritive matter ends up in swimming fish. The rest falls to the invertebrates: pulsing jelly fish,darting shrimp,fixed colonies5 of coral polyps,and crawlers and diggers of the floor. There are about 30,000 known species of marine life,and marine biologists discover more than 100 new ones each year.


8. One main branch of sea science,physical oceanography,holds enormous unanswered questions. The nature of the bottom,the circulation of the deep currents,and the chemistry of the water are poorly understood.


9. The Atlantic hydrographic chart is being revised continuously,and nuclear submarines are now charting the Arctic basin under the ice. Yet vast areas of the Pacific are unmapped and the Indian Ocean has hardly been touched. We know that several depressions in the floor are deeper than Mt. Everest is high,but we cannot be sure that we have found the deepest one.


10. Consider the abyssal valley called the Marianas Trench,lying west of Guam. In 1951,the British Challenger expedition sounded6 33,640 feet at one place in the trench. In 1957 the Soviet ship Vitiaz sounded 300 feet deeper at another place nearby,and later the Russian vessel found a spot 225 feet deeper than that.


11. The French navy has built an abyssal bathyscaphe to take three men to the floor of the Marianas Trench. It seems certain that no human observers will ever get closer to the core of the earth than these men. The world's deepest land shaft accessible to men is the Champion Reef gold mine in India,which is only 9,811 feet deep.

11、法国海军已经建造了一个深海潜水器,用来装载三个人去到马利亚纳海沟的基底。看来很确定的是,不会再有任何其他观测者能比这三个人更接近地球的核心。世界上最深的,人可以到达的陆基深井是在印度的Champion Reef金矿,深度仅仅9811英尺。

12. The depthmen will measure cosmic ray penetration of the sea,radioactivity,and the age of the water in the abyss. They may also make still and motion pictures of the trench,take water and sedimental temperatures,and perhaps sight no one knows what living creatures in that perpetual night. Serious scientists like Sir Alister Hardy of Oxford do not rule out the possibility that there are sea monsters to be discovered. A few years ago divers,working in a wreck under the Red Sea,several times sighted a wrasse 20 feet long. This is a common vegetarian species,never before found more than three feet long.

12、深入海底的人将在深海测量宇宙射线对海水的穿透力、放射性活动,以及海水的年龄。他们还要对海沟摄像摄影,测量水和沉积物的温度,也许还能观测到那永恒黑夜下中不为人知的生物。像牛津大学的Alister Hardy先生-样严谨的科学家们没有排除在那里海洋怪物被发现的可能性。几年前,在红海底一只沉船里工作的潜水员几次看到一条20英尺长的濑鱼。这是一种常见的草食的鱼类,以前从来没有发现过有超过3英尺长的(这种鱼)。

13. The recent discovery of an eel larva many times the size of the common one may furnish a basis for stories of sea serpents. The mature eel has not been discovered,but it could possibly come in sea serpent dimensions.


14. One aspect of oceanography that has fallen into neglect is that of identifying fish: taxonomy. It is considered dull work to catalogue fish. One of the great taxonomists is J.L.B. Smith of South Africa,the discoverer of the fabulous coelacanth. This brute was brought up by fishermen off East Africa and aroused the curiosity of the curator of a provincial museum,who sent a sketch of it to Smith. He instantly identified it as a coelacanth,a species believed extinct for 60 million years. Somewhere in his files,Smith recalled seeing the animal as an empty fossil split from a rock.


15. Almost everything we know or think we know-about the sea is open? at both ends. The questions themselves may be wrong,and many of the answers are under challenge. Take the theory of photosynthesis,which holds that the growth of all vegetation,and consequently of animals,depends on the action of the sun on carbon dioxide and water. 15、关于海洋,几乎大家知道的一切,或者大家认为已经知道的一切问题,其实在两个方面都尚需考虑。这些问题本身可能就是错误的,同时,很多问题的答案在面对置疑。拿“光合作用”理论来说,这个理论认为所有植物成长、进而乃至动物,都依赖于太阳对二氧化碳和水的作用。

16. A French zoologist,Professor Brouardel,has preliminary evidence that some marine animals of the abyss thrive in the blackness without any discernible action of photosynthesis. It will take him years of the most painstaking instrument building,campaigns at sea,and every conceivable cross-check to establish the doubt. Only if these negative results are valid will he be able to formulate the question: how do they live,if not by photosynthesis? Then the study can begin.


17. Unable to see the underwater world until recently,oceanographers have relied on blind groping into the 'depths. They lowered nets,dredges,bathythermographs,still cameras,water bottles,coring pipes,and current meters. Today continuous recording instruments from a ship underway are able to bring up data from a long strip of the sea.


18. Water itself is vital to the future of the race. Not too far in the future,science will crack the water atom for nuclear energy,and,before then,power will be coming from harnessing tides and thermal exchanges under water.


19. The sea is the realm of inner space. It is our last frontier.


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