With satellite images and sediment samples
According to the current state of knowledge gleaned from the research conducted on the largest contiguous habitat on Earth, the sea could be accurately described as an unknown entity. It has only been a few decades since humans were first able to explore the deep sea with their own eyes. The results, astonishing at the time, suggest that the deep sea is a richly populated habitat. But submersibles and robotic research have so only obtained glimpses of tiny areas of this underwater world. The gigantic empire that looms in the dark with its creatures, minerals and natural phenomena is still considered largely unknown. But science is increasingly aiming to change this unsatisfactory state of affairs.
As shown in the diorama in the Exploration and Exploitation of the Seas exhibit, high-tech research equipment is now being used to examine the status of our oceans and how they are changing by taking a more holistic approach. 16 of these devices are presented in the OZEANEUM. These include satellites, floating and propelled submersible robots, measuring and monitoring stations and even simple collection tanks.
These tools provide images of currents, weather conditions and melting ice. Soil samples in turn provide insights into the ocean’s past and provide information on the possible consequences of human intervention to extract raw materials. They also measure the quality and composition of seawater and therefore the consequences of damaging environmental influences. Other devices enable the study of biological diversity and its impact on the marine ecosystem. The data collected and analyzed in various scientific disciplines allows us to better understand the sea and how to protect it more effectively.