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The First Map of The Ocean Floor



This map marks both a scientific and an imaginative revolution. When it was published in 1977 by Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen, two oceanographers at Columbia University, there had never before been a map of the entire ocean floor. Here, for the first time, was our planet’s hidden majority. It was as if the plug had been pulled and the water drained out, transforming the blank seascape into a complex landscape of plains and peaks, escarpments and bluffs. Here was the full extent of the Mid-Ocean Ridge, the mightiest mountain range on Earth, its 40,000-mile length making molehills out of more familiar mountains. You can see its serpentine curl through the Atlantic, round the Cape of Good Hope to the Horn of Africa and on through the Southern Ocean, up to 1,000 miles wide and two miles high. 

Stashed in: Under the sea!, The World, Maps!, Maps, Oceans

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This map shies us how vast and unexplored our oceans are.

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