Rave Reviews by Jean E. Eustance July 2021

Do you like to read about the oceans of the world? The Pine Bush Area Public Library has some neat books about oceans, and mapping them. Look for them in the Children’s Department. If you remember The Magic School Bus On the Ocean Floor you might remember the bus driving off the edge of the Continental Shelf, into deeper water. Why do we know that there is a Continental Shelf, and why do we know nowadays that there are mountains and valleys under the waves?  Thank Marie Tharp for mapping the ocean floor.

Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea is a picture book about Marie Tharp (1920-2006.) She grew up making maps. She became a scientist when women were not supposed to be scientists.  She looked at the map of the world and wondered what was under the surface of the sea.  Sound waves (sonar) was being used to find out how deep the ocean was, in various spots.  She put together the different soundings, and mapped, first the Atlantic Ocean, and then the rest of the world’s oceans.  She realized that there were mountains and valleys in the depths of the sea.  The sea floor is not all flat.  The sea floor looks a lot like the mountains and valleys on the continents that we live upon.

She even found the rift in the Atlantic, where the continental plates pull apart.  Her work helped to prove the theory of Continental Drift. “One scientist put it very simply. ‘Marie didn’t just make maps. She understood how the Earth works,”

Two other scientists, Otis Barton and Will Beebe, wanted to see the fish and plants that live in the sea.  They wanted to see what life looked like, way down in the depths. Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere is a picture book about their work. On the page at the back of the book, it reads they “dove together in the Bathysphere at least nineteen times between May 27, 1930 and September 11, 1934. They were the first humans to see deep-ocean creatures alive.”

They were lucky to come back from these expeditions alive. The book shows their first dive on June 6, 1930, near Bermuda.  “800 feet. Stop…They flipped on the Bathysphere’s searchlight. Their eyes followed the pale yellow beam that scattered…down, down, into the deep.” Their Bathysphere started other people on the road to making deep-sea submersibles so we can see the things that live way down, down into the deep. 

Find these books at the Pine Bush Area Public Library, and go for a dive!

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