08 June is observed as World Oceans Day all over the world. It is an annual celebration to highlight the significance of oceans in our lives. One of the major objectives of this day is to raise awareness about the adverse impact of anthropogenic developments on our oceans.
We may not feel it but life on land is highly dependent on life underwater. Oceans serve us with food, medicines, and even the oxygen we breathe. Being a heat and carbon sink, oceans also play a critical part in managing the climate.
Ensuring the management and conservation of life below water (Goal-14) is equally fundamental for sustaining a healthy life on land. In fact, it is also one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Observance of World Oceans Day itself strongly advocates for the implementation of Goal 14 of the SDGs.
Challenges associated with oceans are growing at a very fast pace. We still witness a lack of dedicated efforts in addressing the oceans-related problems. World Oceans Day, thus, provides an opportunity to ponder upon the issues and put forth effective solutions to tackle it.
Quick Facts: World Oceans Day
- Date: 08 June
- Occurrence: Yearly
- Observed by: United Nations Member Countries
- Start Year: 1992
- Website: worldoceansday.org
In June 1992, an Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro city of Brazil. It was during this summit that Canada’s Government proposed the concept of World Oceans Day observance for the first time. However, it was only in the year 2008 that the day received formal recognition by the United Nations. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in this regard in 2008. Accordingly, the day was observed for the first time on 08 June 2009.
Theme: World Oceans Day 2020
World Oceans Day is celebrated every year around a theme. This year’s theme is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”.
In current times, when the situation around us has become harsh, we are in desperate need of innovative solutions. This year’s theme encourages people to opt for more innovative and novel solutions to ocean-related problems.
COVID-19 & the Importance of Ocean
The year’s celebration on World Oceans Day is severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most events are now taking place on virtual platforms but the spirit behind the celebration is nevertheless high. You may be surprised to know that some exclusive species of organisms found in the deep ocean are currently playing an important role in COVID-19 detection. It may be possible that our oceans offer us a game-changing solution to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Who knows?
Some Interesting Fact About the Oceans
We all know that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with ocean. But there are many other facts about the mighty oceans of the world which are not well-known. Have a look at some facts which may take you by surprise!
- Challenger Deep is a valley inside the Mariana Trench. This valley forms the deepest parts of the oceans. The extent of this valley is bigger than Mount Everest! Oh yes, while Mount Everest is 29,029 feet high, the Challenger Deep is 36, 070 feet deep. You may be intrigued to know that, so far, no manned explorations have taken place beyond 35,979 feet below the surface level.
- It is estimated that humans have been able to identify only around 1/3rd of the potential marine life so far. Meaning, we are still unaware of the larger chunk of the marine organisms.
- 80% of the volcanic eruptions take place underwater. Thus, we remain unaffected by them most of the time.
- Oceans are deep blue in color but have you wondered why? Well, the ocean water absorbs the red part of the visible light spectrum. This almost works like a filter and blue part of the light spectrum is reflected back. This makes our oceans appear deep blue!
- Oceans are the reason we breathe properly. They are the producers of 70% of the atmosphere‘s oxygen supply. Oxygen is released in such a huge amount by marine organisms during photosynthesis.