An ambitious project aims to map the entire ocean floor. It could also open it up to mining

Date: March 3, 2019

Source: ABC News
Author: Antony Funnell

In 2005 a US nuclear submarine hit something solid south-east of Guam. It was reportedly operating at full speed at a depth of about 160 metres when the collision occurred. The nose of the USS San Francisco was so severely damaged that the craft had trouble surfacing. The accident injured 98 submariners. One subsequently died.

It was later revealed the obstacle wasn’t a rival vessel, as speculated, but a large undersea hill. The incident caused huge embarrassment for the world’s most powerful military, but it also reinforced how little we still know about the underwater environment.

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