7 mindblowing facts you never knew about our oceans

The ocean is an incredible place. Although more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, there is still so much we don't know about its depths. It is a world filled with equal parts beauty and mystery. Every day, we uncover something new about life under the sea.

Here are some things you may not know about our very own oceans.

1. ​ We have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floors.
Nasa Topographic Maps Of Mars Released May 27 1999 The Maps Which Show High Altitudes As Red Yel
The ocean covers 70 percent of our Earth. However, nearly 95 percent its waters remain unexplored and unseen by human eyes, according to the National Ocean Service. It is nearly impossible to map the entirety of the ocean floor, mostly because modern technology is no match for the ocean's depths or pressure.

2. More people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean's deepest point
Credit: NASA

In 1960, Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard traveled seven miles underwater to the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Walsh told The Daily Mail in 2010, "It's amazing to think that close to 1,000 people have been to the top of Everest and hundreds have been into space and just two have been to the deepest part of the ocean - and I'm the only one left."

3. 2/3 of marine species remain unknown
Be Adventurous!
Researchers estimate there are 700,000 to 1 million different species living on our oceans. However, we have only identified about one-third of those. Although many are probably small organisms, such as crustaceans and mollusks, there may be up to eight unidentified species of whales and dolphins as well, according to Discovery.

4. The giant squid was largely considered to be a myth up until the past decade. ​

In 2004, a group of researchers in Japan became the first to capture footage of a giant squid living in the wild. Despite being the largest invertebrate known to man, the giant squid remains elusive to scientists and researchers. Their deep sea territory has made them especially hard for experts to study and gather knowledge on the species. The largest of these creatures ever found was measured 59 feet long and weighed nearly an entire ton.

5. Looks can be deceiving -- especially underwater. This tiny octopus may look adorable, but it is actually one of the most lethal sea creatures known to man.
Blue-Ringed Octopus
Don't let its size fool you, this octopus has looks that could kill -- literally. At barely the size of a pencil, the blue ringed octopus packs a brutally lethal dose of venom in its tiny suckers. But luckily, unless you live near Australia, Japan or India, you shouldn't have to worry about coming across these little creatures.

6. The largest waterfall is found in the ocean -- but you will probably never see it

The Denmark Strait cataract is roughly 20 times the size of Niagara Falls and is the biggest waterfall on earth. Located miles underneath the Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Iceland. The waterfall is a result of temperature differentials between water from the Arctic and Greenland Sea. According to Conde Nast Traveler, the Denmark Strait cataract drops nearly 11,500 feet -- more than three times the height of the world's tallest waterfall, Angel Falls, in Venezuela. It also carries 175 million cubic feet of water per second, which is nearly two thousand more the amount carried by Niagara Falls.

7. If all the ice glaciers and ice sheets melted, the sea level would rise by about 80 meters, which is roughly the height of a 26-story building

According to the NRDC, rising temperatures around the globe are speeding up the melting process of glaciers and ice caps everywhere. The global sea level has risen between four and eight inches in the past 100 years -- but the rate is only accelerating.

Watch below to find out where the ocean gets its distinctive smell:
Why The Ocean Smells Like The Ocean

Check out some more deep sea creatures, courtesy of NOAA:
NOAA Ocean Explorer sea creatures
See Gallery
7 mindblowing facts you never knew about our oceans

A purple crinoid hangs out on a dead coral stalk.

(Photo via NOAA)

D2 discovered one of the largest aggregations of brisingid sea stars anyone on the ship had ever seen.

(Photo: NOAA)

Seeing two deep sea animals interacting with each other is rare. What is particularly rare is when they behave the opposite of how we expect them to. As we approached this armored sea robin, a brittle star climbed on top. We were pretty sure that the fish would try to eat the brittle star, but as it turns out, it just wanted to dislodge the extra baggage. The brittle star then proceeded to climb on top of the sea robin two more times.

(Photo via NOAA)

Benthic jellyfish.

(Photo via NOAA)

Brisingid sea stars.

(Photo via NOAA)

Ceramaster granularis. (Goniasteridae)

(Photo via NOAA)

Neomorphaster forcipatus (Stichasteridae).

(Photo via NOAA)

This beautiful hydromedusa was imaged in Washington Canyon. Unfortunately, none of the scientists watching the dive live specialized in water column life.  However, due to the pace at which telepresence allows us to disseminate information, the video of this organism was quickly circulated around the country to experts in the field and the hydromedusa was identified as Cyclocanna welshi with a couple days.

(Photo via NOAA)

We imaged this purple octopus with large glassy eyes during dive #8. 

(Photo via NOAA)

Crossota sp., a deep red medusa found just off the bottom of the deep sea.

(Photo via NOAA)

Anemone attached to a carbonate boulder near the GC852 sampling station at 1,500 meters depth.

(Photo via NOAA)

A lovely sea cucumber dancing in the water column is imaged by the Little Hercules ROV at approximately 1500 meters depth offshore Kona, Hawaii. Image taken during ROV shakedown operations aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer on March 22, 2010.

(Photo via NOAA)

Here, an octopus mother protects her eggs in Hendrickson Canyon. If you look closely, you can see the eyes of a baby octopus through the egg. 

(Photo via NOAA)

Portrait of a juvenile boxfish, 1 cm long, collected by a bluewater diver in the top 30 meters of the Celebes Sea water column.

(Photo via NOAA)

Image of the breathtaking squid captured on camera during ROV Dive 3.

(Photo via NOAA)

Rock hind in a sponge photographed while free diving off Klien Bonaire in about 20 ft. of water.  Image courtesy of Bonaire 2008: Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies, Chris Coccaro, NOAA-OE.

(Photo via NOAA)

(Photo via NOAA)
(Photo via NOAA)
(Photo via NOAA)
(Photo via NOAA)

This stunning octopod, Benthoctopus sp., seemed quite interested in ALVIN's port manipulator arm. Those inside the sub were surprised by the octopod's inquisitive behavior.

(Photo via NOAA)

This giant isopod is a representative of one of approximately nine species of large isopods (crustaceans related to shrimps and crabs) in the genus Bathynomus. They are thought to be abundant in cold, deep waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Bob Carney of LSU caught this specimen in one of his deep-water fish traps.

(Photo via NOAA)

Aulococtena is the size and color of an orange and has two tentacles that are white, thick, unbranched and very sticky. This species has been encountered from 350-1100 meters deep on this expedition.

(Photo via NOAA)


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