The Deepest Map: The High-Stakes Race to Chart the World’s Oceans

This is the story of the floor of the ocean, and all our attempts to map it. Turns out, we know nothing relatively little about it.

The framework of the book is that the author got to travel on the Five Deeps expedition. This was a project of adventurer Victor Vescovo to travel to the deepest points in all five oceans.

Most everyone has heard of Challenger Deep, which is the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean (it was made extra-famous when film director James Cameron went down there), but, obviously, every ocean has a deepest point. Vescovo had already summited Everest, so this was next on his to-do list, I suppose.

Amidst this adventure, the book covers a bunch of topics, each with a chapter:

  • Finding ancient relics on the sea floor
  • The threat of deep sea mining
  • The weird challenges of naming things on the sea floor
  • The innovation brought by deep sea robots

It’s a good book. Well-researched, and well-written. It drags a bit when it digs into politics, which is unavoidable when talking about any unowned territory in the world. But other than that, I enjoyed it.

Book Info

Laura Trethewey