People have discovered around 230,000 different marine species. But since so little of the ocean has been explored, scientists think that there could be two million more species waiting to be found! Aquatic animals are adapted for life in the water. Some animals, like jellyfish, have bodies that need water to keep their shape. Fish use gills to absorb oxygen from water, and gills can’t work on land. Flamingos use their strange beaks to filter shrimp and algae from the water. If we drained the oceans, we would immediately lose over 90% of life on Earth!
The ocean is filled with plant life. Most plants are tiny algae called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton produce over half of the oxygen that animals, including humans, breathe. If we drained the oceans, lower oxygen levels would make it difficult to think clearly, and even walking up the stairs would leave you exhausted. Around the world, approximately 3 billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of protein and nutrients. Seafood is delicious and nutritious, plentiful, free, and can be caught with very simple equipment. If we drained the oceans, many people would go hungry.
But that’s not all of it. Discover more consequences of draining the oceans with Cosmo!