What the Earth Would Look Like If We Drained the Water from the Oceans

For­mer­ly a NASA Fel­low at the God­dard Space Flight Cen­ter, Dr James O’Donoghue now works as a plan­e­tary sci­en­tist at the Japan­ese space agency JAXA. He also hosts a video chan­nel on YouTube. Above, you can watch his high-res remake of a NASA ani­ma­tion pro­duced back in 2008. Here’s how NASA framed the orig­i­nal clip:

Three fifths of the Earth­’s sur­face is under the ocean, and the ocean floor is as rich in detail as the land sur­face with which we are famil­iar. This ani­ma­tion sim­u­lates a drop in sea lev­el that grad­u­al­ly reveals this detail. As the sea lev­el drops, the con­ti­nen­tal shelves appear imme­di­ate­ly. They are most­ly vis­i­ble by a depth of 140 meters, except for the Arc­tic and Antarc­tic regions, where the shelves are deep­er. The mid-ocean ridges start to appear at a depth of 2000 to 3000 meters. By 6000 meters, most of the ocean is drained except for the deep ocean trench­es, the deep­est of which is the Mar­i­anas Trench at a depth of 10,911 meters.

In 51 sec­onds, watch and see where the great drain­ing ends…

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Rad­i­cal Map Puts the Oceans–Not Land–at the Cen­ter of Plan­et Earth (1942)

A Map Shows What Hap­pens When Our World Gets Four Degrees Warmer: The Col­orado Riv­er Dries Up, Antarc­ti­ca Urban­izes, Poly­ne­sia Van­ish­es

Per­pet­u­al Ocean: A Van Gogh-Like Visu­al­iza­tion of our Ocean Cur­rents

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Comments (4)
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  • Terry Walsh says:

    An intel­lec­tu­al, but oth­er­wise point­less exer­cise, see­ing that the oppo­site is posit­ed to hap­pen over the next cen­tu­ry.

  • BT Long says:

    An inter­est­ing and per­ti­nent fol­low-on ani­ma­tion would also present the changes on cur­rent land­mass biol­o­gy, ie, how much of that green­ery remains, giv­en cli­mac­tic changes and poten­tial scour­ing of cur­rent topog­ra­phy.

    Also, does the pro­ject­ed topo­graph­ic mod­el of a de-watered Earth serve as a use­ful ref­er­ence mod­el for eval­u­at­ing the his­to­ry of oth­er plan­ets?

  • Carol Falise says:

    !!! WOW !!!

  • vinita Giri says:

    Hel­lo Admin

    I don’t know much about our moth­er nature. But one thing I know for sure that we are harm­ing our plan­et. A fas­ci­nat­ing and appro­pri­ate fol­low-on move­ment would like­wise dis­play the pro­gres­sions on cur­rent land­mass sci­ence, ie, the amount of that green­ery stays, giv­en cli­mac­tic changes and poten­tial scour­ing of cur­rent geog­ra­phy.

    Like­wise, does the antic­i­pat­ed topo­graph­ic mod­el of a de-watered Earth fill in as a help­ful ref­er­ence mod­el for assess­ing the his­tor­i­cal back­drop of dif­fer­ent plan­ets? Your Web­site is very inter­est­ing.

    Thanks for shar­ing this

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