How are we sure Challenger Deep is the deepest point when we have barely fully explored our ocean?

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Basically the title, but I always wondered if the Mariana Trench was the actual deepest point on our planet

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9 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

We aren’t sure. It’s the deepest we’ve found, and we’re assisted by satellites when doing so, but there could absolutely be a non-direct depth (through a cave system, for example) that goes deeper. A direct dive is less likely, because satellites

Anonymous 0 Comments

The oceans aren’t *that* much of a mystery. We’ve mapped them in sufficient detail to know there aren’t any super-deep trenches that could rival Marianas. If there were a deeper point in the ocean somewhere, it would have to be freakishly narrow, but such a deep, narrow crevice is unlikely to form and stay that way for long.

Anonymous 0 Comments

“Explore” is a vague term.

We haven’t visually inspected every inch of the seabed, but we have mapped most, if not all, of it with sonar.

And we “know” there isn’t a random narrow tunnel in some shallower section that might descend another 10,000 ft because geography doesn’t do that, and it would have collapse or filled in anyway.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mix of:

1. All science is always “…to the best of our knowledge”. Thus, Challenge Deep is the deepest point in the ocean *to the best of our knowledge*. If we find out that we’re wrong, then we’ll have learned something new.
2. We don’t need to *explore* the ocean floor to *map* the ocean floor. For example, radar can do the work for us.

Anonymous 0 Comments

We’ve mapped the whole ocean up to a certain resolution (5kms iiirc). This mapping allowed us to spot where the potential really low spots are, we scanned those particular low spots with higher resolution and from there we found which is the lowest.

It is possible that there is a particular place that for some reason goes really really deep but everything around it is not that deep so it doesn’t show up in our low resolution sweep, but it’s not really likely (there’s also not much to gain for going on a wild hunt for this theoretical place that probably doesn’t exist)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Recently i watched a video explaining things like that. Basically, what you say was true a few decades ago. Nowadays oceans are explored almost fully, but people still repeating the “fact” from ninetens.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A boat on the surface of the ocean can use sonar to measure the depth of the ocean. We may not have been to the bottom at every location but our sonar pings have. In doing so, we have mapped the depth across the ocean floor to reasonable detail, enough to know there is nothing deeper.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Challenger Deep is a specific place in the Mariana Trench. So, in a way, they are both “the deepest”.

Anonymous 0 Comments

“The beauty of science is that it is always evolving: new discoveries are forever changing our understanding of the world. This book’s authors and editorial team have made an effort to ensure that its representation of historical events is based on the latest scientific research available at the time of writing. Many disputes persist among scholars about the interpretation of particular pieces of archaeological, genetic and textual evidence, and some of these debates may never be satisfactorily resolved. Future discoveries and innovations could upend our understanding of the past, and we should all look forward to such breakthroughs. But this does not mean that everything is debatable. It can be said with certainty that several species of humans existed in the past, that the last remaining human species, Homo sapiens, domesticated plants and animals, unlocked the laws of nature and created globe-spanning empires using the power of stories. Every year we are learning more about how these transformations unfolded, and how they helped create the world that we now inhabit”.

Excerpts from Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari. Thought it would be relevant to think in these lines.