The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea

The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea

by William J. Broad, Dimitry Schidlovsky
     
 

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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684838526
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
06/16/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
0.89(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)

What People are saying about this

Richard Rhodes
"This fascinating, compellign book reveals for the first time a technolgoy of deep-ocean spying and confrontation even more amazing that the spy-satellite technolgoy that loomed overhead.: -- author of Dark Sun and The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Roger E. McManus
"William Broad weaves a riverting tale that provides a startling perspective on human existence on our ocean planet. The Universe Below is destined to become an immediate classic about the marine environment and its importance to human history and well-being." -- President, Center for Marine Conservation
Dava Sobel
"Just as astronomers avow that at least 90 percent of the cosmos of galaxies remains beyond their powers of observation, oceanographers concede that 71 percent of the Earth's surface lies unexplored beneath a world's worth of water. William J. broad's informed, excited, authoriative voice makes the perfect vehicle for entering this alternate universe." -- Author of Longitude
Walter A. McDougall
"an epic history of exploration in the mold of John Noble Wilford's The Mapmakers, Wiliam Broad's The Universe Below weaves thorough research into a gripping narrative of the first human descents to the bottom of the ocean. From scientific expeditions in search of the uneartly creatures that inhabit volcanic calders at 'unfathomable' depths, to cold-war missions in search of lost submarines, hydrogen bombs, and secret Soviet cables, to commercial dreams of mining the oceans' gold nodules, every chapter might serve as the plot for a Tom clancy novel." -- author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heavens and the Earth
William Dietrich
"With an artful blend of sea history, personal experience, and the stories of today's oceanographic adventurers, WilliamJ. Broad's The Universe Below takes us into the fantastic realm of the deep." -- author of Northwest Passage

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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