Under the Sea

Discover
| |
Deep-Sea Forgiveness

The deepest part of the ocean in the whole world is near the Mariana Islands (in the Pacific Ocean, south of Japan). In that spot there’s a place called the Mariana Trench. It’s almost seven miles (11 km) deep! It’s hard to imagine that much deep water, but picture this:

  • Seven miles is equal to 123 average-size soccer fields laid end to end.
  • If you cut off Mount Everest and dropped it into the Mariana Trench, there would still be more than a mile of water
    covering the mountain.
  • To fill the Mariana Trench you’d have to stack 1,848 two-story houses on top of each other. Now that’s deep!

The Bible says that God will “hurl all our iniquities [sins] into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). That means that when we ask for forgiveness, God takes our sins and throws them as far away as possible. Once they’re gone, God doesn’t “go fishing” for them again—and neither should we. They’re gone for good. Now that’s forgiveness!

Ocean in a Bottle

If you’ve ever gone swimming in the ocean in windy weather, you know that the power of waves can be really amazing—sometimes even dangerous.

Some of the biggest waves in the world come crashing down every winter in Waimea Bay, Hawaii. These monster waves can be more than 50 feet (15 meters) high. Only the best and bravest surfers try to ride these waves.

You can make your own waves with this fun project. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Fill a clean, clear plastic soda bottle halfway with water.
  • Add a few drops of blue food coloring.
  • Put the bottle cap on and shake the bottle to mix in the food coloring.
  • Take the cap off and add shells, small plastic sea
    creatures, or glitter.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with baby oil (leave some space at the top).
  • Put the cap on the bottle tightly.
  • Hold the bottle sideways and rock it up and down.
  • Watch the waves!

(Parents: To be sure the cap doesn’t come off the wave bottle, use a hot glue gun to glue it on tight.)

Read All About  It

Check your local library or bookstore for these fun and fascinating books about the ocean:

  • Oceans by Seymour Simon
  • Beneath the Sea in 3-D by Mark Blum
  • Coral Reef by Donald M. Silver
  • The Magic Schoolbus on the Ocean Floor by Joanna Cole
Pass the Salt

Why does ocean water taste salty? The answer is pretty simple. Rocks and soil contain minerals like sodium (salt). As rivers flow over rocks and soil, they pick up small amounts of minerals. That barely salty river water flows into the ocean. When water evaporates from the ocean to make rain, the salt stays in the ocean because it’s heavier than the evaporated water. That means that the ocean gets a tiny bit saltier every day.

So where is the saltiest water? It’s in the Dead Sea, in Israel. There’s so much salt in the Dead Sea that it’s impossible for a person to sink, even if he or she doesn’t know how to swim. The dense, salty water makes people float. People can swim in the Dead Sea, but no fish or plants live there—it’s just too salty for them!

Weird Stuff About Ocean Creatures

Gone fishin’.Did you know that some fish have their own built-in fishing poles? Anglerfish have a stick-like thing with a glowing end growing on top of their heads. The anglerfish waves this “fishing pole” around to attract other fish. If a fish gets too close, it’s toast.

Who turned on the lights? Lots of sea creatures that live in the deepest parts of the ocean make their own light (that’s called bioluminescence). The midwater jellyfish’s tentacles light up (and sometimes fall off) if another animal bothers it. The flashlight fish can turn its light off and on using a special flap of muscle near its eye.

Sleep tight. Fish do sleep, but not the same way people do. Since most fish don’t have eyelids, they “sleep” with their eyes open. Some fish spend part of every day just floating quietly. Other fish, like tuna and sharks, can’t stay still for long. They have to keep swimming because they breathe by moving water through their mouths. What If we had to keep walking to breathe?

Fast fins. The fastest fish in the ocean are the swordfish and the marlin. They can swim up to 75 miles per hour (121 kph) for short distances.

Fun Facts
  • Water covers almost three-quarters of the earth’s surface.
  • Oceans contain about 80 percent of all life on earth.
  • Sound travels through water almost five times faster than it travels through air.
  • The Arctic Ocean makes between 10,000 and 50,000 icebergs every year.
  • The pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is more than 11,318 tons per square meter, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.

—facts from www.marinebio.com

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

X