The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea

Overview

Pulitzer Prize winner William J. Broad takes us on an adventure to the planet's last and most exotic frontier — the depths of the sea. The Universe Below examines how we are illuminating its dark recesses as a wave of advanced technology quietly opens the Earth's largest and most mysterious environment.
Broad takes us on breathtaking dives and expeditions — to the Azores, to the Titanic, to hot springs teeming with bizarre life, to icy fissures aswarm with gulper eels, vampire ...

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Overview

Pulitzer Prize winner William J. Broad takes us on an adventure to the planet's last and most exotic frontier — the depths of the sea. The Universe Below examines how we are illuminating its dark recesses as a wave of advanced technology quietly opens the Earth's largest and most mysterious environment.
Broad takes us on breathtaking dives and expeditions — to the Azores, to the Titanic, to hot springs teeming with bizarre life, to icy fissures aswarm with gulper eels, vampire squids, and gelatinous beasts longer than a city bus. We meet legendary explorers and researchers and go with them as they probe the ancient mysteries of a universe that encompasses the vast majority of the Earth's habitable space and holds millions of humanity's lost artworks and treasures.
The Universe Below is an unforgettable trip to our last great unexplored frontier.

Though man has been probing the ocean's depths for centuries, we know more about the dark side of the moon. Here is an exploration of the planet's last, most exotic, dangerous, rich frontier--the unilluminated depths of the oceans. Illustrations throughout.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
John Durant The New York Times Book Review By combining personal experience, conversations with scientists and a wide-ranging historical review, [Broad] has given us a readable and reliable guide to the last great wilderness on earth....A splendid guide to this ultimate terra incognita.

David Pawson The Washington Post Book World ...a fascinating, beautifully written account of a truly unfamiliar world.

The New Yorker Broad's sense of wonderment is almost always infectious.

New York Times Book Review
By combining personal experience, conversations with scientists and a wide-ranging historical review, [Broad] has given us a readable and reliable guide to the last great wilderness on earth....A splendid guide to this ultimate terra incognita.
—John Durant
Washington Post Book World
...a fascinating, beautifully written account of a truly unfamiliar world.
—David Pawson
New Yorker
Broad's sense of wonderment is almost always infectious.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Recent books about undersea exploration have focused on scientific discoveries. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Broad ("Teller's War", etc.), a science reporter for the "New York Times", presents a wider perspective here. He reviews the history of oceanography and reveals the roll of the military in developing new technologies within that field. By 1957, the Navy was searching for new weaponry to use in undersea warfare; a decade later, it had established a global network of deep microphones that spied on Soviet ships. Broad points out that although no Soviet sub has ever defected to the U.S., "the bottom of the sea was extravagantly endowed with the paraphernalia of war." Enter the submersible Alvin in 1964; since then, development has included deep-diving small submarines, robots and laser line-scanners (which found pieces of the wreckage of TWA Flight 800 in Long Island Sound). In an exciting foray into the deep, Broad details his dive in Alvin 1.5 miles down in the North Pacific (the first object seen on the ocean floor was a sneaker). The end of the Cold War freed hundreds of military devices and technologies to civilian and commercial interests, he notes, setting up a conflict between treasure seekers and marine archeologists. Broad addresses the problem of radioactive wastes and other pollutants in the oceans, and discusses the 1994 U.N. Convention Law of the Sea and the search for minerals. He forcefully points out that we still do not know enough about mid-sea creatures and food chains in the deep, and he proposes an international oceanic sanctuary, off-limits to fishing, mining, development and recovery efforts. Intensively researched and crisply told, this is an illuminating, stimulating portrait of one of Earth's last frontiers.
Library Journal
The deep sea is the last frontier whose secrets are just now being revealed. Broad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer for the "New York Times", offers an excellent personal overview of current explorations. As in his earlier works, technology is the focus, along with the personalities involved; most of the chapters are related to articles Broad has published in the Times since 1993. After a brief history of deep-sea exploration before 1900, the book is set firmly in the 20th century, concentrating on the ships, subs, divers, underwater vehicles both manned and robotic, and satellites used in a variety of applications, from discovering the Titanic to observing unusual or new marine species. As a readable introduction to deep-water oceanographic research and recovery techniques, this is recommended for public libraries.-Jean E. Crampon, Hancock Biology & Oceanography Lib., Univ. of California, Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684838526
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 6/16/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 0.89 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author

William J. Broad has practiced yoga since 1970. A bestselling author and senior writer at The New York Times, he has won every major award in print and television during more than thirty years as a science journalist. With New York Times colleagues, he has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, as well as an Emmy Award and a DuPont. He is the author or coauthor of seven books, including Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, a #1 New York Times bestseller.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue

ONE Lair

TWO Battle Zone

THREE Garden of Eden

FOUR Lost Worlds

FIVE Canyon

SIX Fields of Gold

SEVEN Tides

Epilogue

Chronology of Deep Exploration

Measure Equivalents

Glossary

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2001

    Interesting, but too much machinery, not enough zoology

    I bought this book after watching a Discovery Channel program about deep-sea oceanography. The program was mostly about the creatures of the deep -- which include a vast array of fascinating, unimaginable evolutionary products I had no idea existed. Broad touches on these, but the book is mostly about the history of subs and submersibles, and about his own experiences. I kept waiting for more 'beef' on the animal life -- I was still waiting when I reached the end of the book!

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