If you stand at the edge of a beach near me, we can feel the cool saltwater wash over bare feet. Or watch the gentle waves slowly erase the remains of a sand castle nearby. On a clear day, we can look out to see perhaps a dozen miles of rippling blue before it meets the horizon. And we’ll think we’ve gotten a good sense of the sea.
But how little this scene indicates of the ocean’s actual immensity! Thousands upon thousands of nautical miles expand beyond us, connecting the coasts of every continent. Profound depths lie beneath the surface. And the ceaseless activity of powerful currents impacts the weather of the entire planet.
It’s easy to lose sight of this level of magnitude, because the default of the human mind is to think far too small … and be content with that.