The Hidden Peril Beneath the Waves: Why Deep Sea Mining Could Be a Catastrophic Mistake

Noah Silverbrook

Updated Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 12:00 AM CDT

The allure of the ocean's depths has captivated humanity for centuries, a mysterious world with secrets shrouded in the darkness of the deep sea. Yet, as technology advances, the seabed is no longer out of reach, and with it comes the contentious issue of deep sea mining—a practice that may hold untold risks for our planet's future.

Deep sea mining is not a topic that should be taken lightly. The potential environmental impact of extracting resources from the ocean floor could be devastating. Experts warn that this practice could exacerbate climate change effects, transforming what we now fear into a mere prelude to a greater ecological disaster.

The historical precedent for environmental damage caused by human activity is well-documented. Take, for instance, the hazardous waste once dumped out of Los Angeles Harbor. Those 55-gallon drums of toxic material didn't disappear; they simply became another generation's problem. The legacy of such actions serves as a grim reminder of the consequences of treating the ocean as a dumping ground.

The planet's drinking water is another concern. With the relentless pursuit of profit, there is a real fear that essential resources will be contaminated. The sentiment that those with substantial financial resources are orchestrating these ventures is a common thread in discussions, leading to a sense of powerlessness among those who are concerned about the environment.

Interestingly, international efforts to regulate the deep sea do exist. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), composed of numerous countries, aims to protect and regulate the sea floor. However, the pressure to allow deep sea mining is surging, and contracts for resource exploitation have been in place since 2001. The question remains: is enough being done to safeguard our oceans?

Comparisons to the unchecked mining in Africa and the destruction of archaeologically significant sites highlight a global pattern of prioritizing financial gain over heritage and environmental preservation. The origin of life itself is linked to the oceans, and yet the recognition of this fact seems lost in the shadow of corporate interests.

The conversation around deep sea mining is complex, with economic, environmental, and ethical dimensions. While some may jest, likening the situation to plots from science fiction movies or quipping about the absurdity of breaking news, the underlying issue is far from a laughing matter. The health of our planet and the legacy we leave for future generations are at stake.

In conclusion, deep sea mining represents a crossroads for humanity. Will the pursuit of wealth continue to override the imperative to protect the Earth, or will a collective awakening steer us towards a more sustainable and conscientious path? The voices of concern are clear: the risks are too great, and the potential for irreversible damage looms large. It is a call to action for all who cherish the planet to consider the cost of disturbing the ancient, silent world beneath the waves.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


Deep Sea mining shouldn't be something we allow as a species. Like, without being too clear, it needs to be stopped by "any means necessary." The risk it poses could make Climate Change look like a nice treat.


We are going to poison all the drinking water before the planet implodes, in my opinion. I used to feel like changes could be possible, but the people with all the money are calling the shots.


For decades, hazmat was put in 55 gallon drums, and barged out of LA Harbor and dumped. It became someone elses problem


Wasn't this the plot of The Meg 2?


So the ISA is a governing body of some 167 countries (of course not the US) that agreed they should protect and regulate the sea floor below 200m. Without this agreement, it would basically be a free-for-all, so it seems a good thing.. but pressure on allowing deep sea mining is increasing. Existing contracts for exploitation of resources exist since 2001 with 22 contractors, ONE of which is the Polish state, signed 2018. (The Baltic does also go down to ~450m). Shoddy reporting indeed. >


Stuff like this always makes me think about all the mining in Africa that’s been going on for hundreds of years without any archaeology/active destruction of archaeologically valuable stuff.


Life originated billions of years ago. The chances of that place being recognizable today, after billions of years of change, are basically nil.


But there is money to be made. Won't someone think of the poor corporations?


Atlantic City?


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