The Challenger expedition and the beginning of Oceanography.

Southampton University have recently started a new online course which will last for 6 weeks and is entirely free, so far in the course I have started taking a look at the history of Marine Biology and HMS Challenger, here’s a post written by a blogger about the challenger expedition and the beginning of Oceanography! 🙂 You can find Southampton Uni’s course here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/exploring-our-oceans

Letters from Gondwana.

Painting of the HMS Challenger by William Frederick Mitchell. From Wikimedia Commons Painting of the HMS Challenger by William Frederick Mitchell. From Wikimedia Commons

On December 21, 1872 the H.M.S. Challenger sailed from Portsmouth, England, for an epic voyage which would last almost three and a half years. It  was the first expedition organized and funded for a specific scientific purpose: to examine the deep-sea floor and answer questions about the ocean environment.

The expedition covered 69,000 miles (about 130.000 km) and gathered data on   currents, water chemistry, temperature, bottom deposits and marine life at 362 oceanographic stations. More than 4700 new species of marine animals were discovered during the course of the voyage, many of which were found on the seafloor – an environment that scientists originally believed to be too inhospitable to support life.

It all began in 1868, with British naturalist William B. Carpenter and Sir Charles Wyville Thomson, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh University. They persuaded the Royal Society…

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