This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Xmas Legs Small Present Present
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 7th October 2016 > DEEP SECRETS


Some 85 percent of the world’s seafloor hasn’t been mapped. Scientists plan to change that


THE UNKNOWN hit the USS San Francisco like a torpedo. On January 8, 2005, the nuclear submarine was barreling along at 38 miles per hour, 525 feet beneath the surface. Such vessels often travel in virtual blindness, forgoing radar and its telltale pings; the crew relied on seaofloor charts to navigate. But the maps were incomplete.

About 360 miles southeast of Guam, the sub slammed into an unmapped underwater mountain. The collision sent sailors crashing into walls and flying across rooms. Nearly 100 of 137 crew members aboard were injured, and one died from a massive head wound. Commander Kevin Mooney was discharged and reprimanded by Navy higher-ups for “an ill-advised voyage plan” because one map noted that there was a potential navigational hazard several miles from the site of impact, but the lack of precise charts undoubtedly played a major role in the accident.

Welcome to life on a little-known planet. To date, more than 85 percent of the seafloor has not been mapped using modern methods. Since 70 percent of the Earth is covered in oceans, this means that we quite literally don’t know our own planet. “We know the surface of Mars better than we do the seafloor,” says Martin Jakobsson, a researcher at Stockholm University.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Newsweek International - 7th October 2016
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 7th October 2016
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 0.65 per issue
Or 3299 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only £ 0.94 per issue
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Newsweek International

The race to the White House is nearing the end. Is this Hilary's race to lose; Newsweek looks at why she should win, but may lose out!