The Wichitan

Titanic finder tells under the sea adventures

Shelby Davis

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Robert Ballard is best known for his discoveries of the R.M.S. Titanic and the sites of the Bismark, Lusitania, Battle of Guadalcanal and the USS Yorktown. However, deep-sea explorer brought tales of extraordinary exploration to the table when he spoke during the Artist-Lecture Series on Oct. 9.

“I look at the world as a living creation,” Ballard said.

He gave the audience insight on why he chose to become an oceanographer as well as on other issues that are important in understanding his success in this career.

The scientist emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has conducted more than 120 deep-sea missions.

Ballard said ever since he visited his first submarine, he has been obsessed with the ocean.

“I fell in love with the bottom of the ocean,” he said.

One of the world’s largest features, the ridge that lies deep in the ocean, was not discovered until after the United States sent a man to the moon, Ballard said. .

Only one-tenth of one percent of the ocean has been explored.

He said one feature that makes Earth different from other planets is the plates which lie under the ocean floor that are either moving to, away or against one another.

Ballard went on a mission and discovered deep in the bottom of the sea, where sunlight never reaches, there were still living creatures.

Around black smokers, under water geysers, lived 10-foot worms, a species that resembled a clam, and other living organisms.

After this discovery, the 70-year-old realized, because of his daily commute from the top to the bottom of the ocean, he only spent about three hours underwater a day.

“It took me two-and-a-half hours to get to work and two-and-a-half hours to get home,” he said.

He started to design models for a computerized robot that could take the place of a human body having to be underwater.

He wanted to be able to make discoveries in the ocean while still being able to live a regular life.

Eventually, a robot was built that could stay under water 24/7.

The robot is dropped to the bottom of the ocean and is controlled and monitored around the clock by oceanographers.

This advancement led to the discovery of the Titanic and many of the discoveries that followed.

It also allows for some of the greatest minds to analyze information from virtually anywhere the moment a new discovery is made, he said.

“We do not know what we will find because our ocean land has not ever been explored,” he said.

The famed oceanographer is also passionate about the lack of teaching of oceanographic materials in the United States.

“The United States spends more money on childhood education than any other country, but we do not see the results.”

He said it is his goal to take children whose jaws drop when hearing about his discoveries and to turn them into scientists.

Ballard is part of the Jason Projects and he helps to implement programs into schools and Boys and Girls Clubs that create a pyramid of learning so that students go from learning to becoming a part of a team that he hopes will fuel the future of oceanic discovery.

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Titanic finder tells under the sea adventures