Thursday, July 28, 2011

The world's largest ocean canyon

The largest canyon in the ocean is Zhemchug Canyon, a giant underwater canyon located in the middle of the Bering Sea.
The canyon has a vertical relief of 2600 meters dropping from the shallow shelf the Bering Sea to the depths of the Aleutian Basin.
Zhemchug Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon in the United States.

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From TheTelegraph

Seven hundred feet below the water, deep in the submarine canyon off Monterey Bay, there is complete darkness.

Creatures almost entirely beyond our comprehension have evolved here, and this week they were joined by Richard Hammond.
Hammond was presenting his Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean (BBC Two), but even set against some jaw-dropping imagery of underwater volcanoes and a giant virtual Earth, to these eyes he is a distraction.

His route from Top Gear’s Norman Wisdom to the godhead of prime-time science is as mystifying as the provenance of neon squids deep in the abyss.
The fact that the full title of this programme was Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean tells you that BBC executives believe that he has reached a level where it’s “The Hamster”, as much as the wonders of our planet, that gets the bums on seats.

Which means that what was otherwise an impressive science documentary was continually forced to accommodate its star man.
Nods to his Top Gear persona meant he had to keep doing things such as going for dives, or descending in submersibles, to no discernible end.
Every machine was a “serious bit of kit” to get boyishly overexcited about.
And every excursion was served up with just a splash of potential peril, because Hammond is the TV guy who does daring things in serious bits of kit.

Perhaps if he came with a dab more authority – he is not, and has never claimed to be, any kind of scientist – his presence would feel less intrusive.
But when one of the most astonishing natural marvels on display is a small man’s haircut, then you know that the presenter needs to step out of the picture.

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