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Story Publication logo December 7, 2016

A New Threat to Oceans: Deep-Sea Mining for Precious Metals

A dive into the deep sea illuminates a world full of possibilities for both discoveries of extraordinary life and opportunities for exploitation. Image by Sarah Fahmy. United States, 2016.

An exploration into the emerging industry of underwater mining leads to more questions than answers...


Around 500 miles southeast of the bright turquoise waters at Honolulu Harbor, and two and a half miles down to the dark ocean floor, a massive carpet of potato-sized rocks stretches thousands of miles on the seabed. These rocks, called polymetallic, or manganese, nodules, are made up of manganese, nickel, copper, and cobalt. The nodules' growth is one of the slowest geological processes in the world—it takes millions of years for one to grow a couple of millimeters: Tiny particles precipitate from the surface of the ocean to the seafloor and conglomerate around a core, like a rock or a shark tooth, and create a nodule.

To read more, see:



A yellow elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change

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