Sylvia Earle Takes Us on a Journey Along the Ocean Floor

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 10:47 am

Sylvia Earle Takes Us on a Journey Along the Ocean Floor

“The first experience is going through the sunlit area and into the twilight zone where sunlight fades and darkness begins to take over. It’s like the deepest twilight, or earliest dawn.” —Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle made history in 1979 as the first and only person to walk solo on the bottom of the ocean floor. As a result, her fellow scientists gave her the nickname “Her Deepness,” and she returned to the surface with rich descriptions of the wonder she experienced on the bottom of our world. In this audio excerpt from our latest show with the oceanographer, Ms. Earle describes life on the ocean floor as if it were science fiction fantasy. Such bioluminescent, architectural creatures, she says, seem to come from somewhere in deep space rather than in the deepest recesses of our Earth.
About the photo: Sylvia Earle descends into the darkness, trekking with this “Jim” suit as her only protection from hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch created by being a quarter-mile under from the ocean’s surface.

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was an associate producer at On Being.

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