Earth, as we know is a blue planet that is covered almost 71 percent with water. Water bodies and oceans on the earth has been playing a crucial role in determining the habitability of the earth, and in the absence of water, the blue planet will turn into barren land. Now, a former NASA employee has released a mind-blowing video that shows how the planet will change if all the oceans gradually drain away.
Unveiling the continental shelves
The video was released by James O'Donogue, who currently works at the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The fascinating clip is made by NASA animator Horace Mitchell. In the initial seconds of the animated video, the first landmass that emerges from the oceans is those regions surrounding the edges of continental landmasses, also known as continental shelves. It should be noted that these continental shelves make up around eight percent of the total area covered by oceans on earth.
These continental shelves started appearing after the sea level was dropped by around 460 feet. However, the continental shelves in the Arctic and Antarctic region appeared much later, as they are located at greater depths. Interestingly, some of these continental shelves were exposed thousands of years ago, and ancient humans have used these shelves to explore new regions with land bridges, including the famous Ram Sethu between India and Sri Lanka.
"When the last ice age occurred, a lot of ocean water was locked up as ice at the poles of the planet. That's why land bridges used to exist. Each of these links enabled humans to migrate, and when the ice age ended, the water sort of sealed them in," O'Donogue told Business Insider.
Mid-ocean ridges start appearing at 6,500 feet
As the ocean levels start dropping between 6,500 to 9,850 feet, id-ocean ridges started appearing. These underwater volcanoes are considered the most extensive chain of mountains on earth, as it stretches more than 40,000 miles.
As the sea level drops to 20,000 feet, the majority of the oceans disappeared, apart from the deepest ocean trenches, which include the Marina trench that extends to an incredible depth of approximately 36,000 feet.