Why Some Scientists Are Suggesting The Ocean Might Kill Us One Day

No matter what time of year it is, there's always a place somewhere in the world where there's a nice warm beach to relax and gaze out at the ocean. You might even be tempted to take a swim, depending on how the water feels. But you need to be careful, since there might be big waves capable of crashing into you, or you might even get pulled down by a riptide unless you swim across the shore and not toward it, according to NOAA.

Okay, let's not forget about the denizens of the ocean — some of which might even try to bite or pinch you. Crabs are usually not friendly. Jellyfish are definitely a sting risk, and there are other dangerous things, like stingrays, certain fish with sharp teeth, and yes ... sharks. So it's always good to keep your head on a swivel while taking a dip. But there are ways the ocean could kill us without even putting a toe in the water. 

Much can happen under the water

Over the millennia, there have been occurrences in the ocean, which covers 75% of our planet, that have caused extinction level events (ELEs), and there is always the specter that something could happen in the future that wipes all of humanity out. 

The first thing we have to worry about is something called a clathrate gun. That's when we see molecules of water and methane, called clathrates, exit continental shelves, which creates an enormous explosion that will then eject a lot of methane into the atmosphere. That would be very bad for us, per Harvard

Balance plays a big part in life, and it's no different in the ocean. If there is a shift, then the water can be deprived of oxygen, a condition called anoxia. Then fish and other sea creatures would die, per the EPA. If certain trace elements were to have their levels drop, then that would also be an ELE. If there was a huge amount of hydrogen sulfide dispersed from the ocean, we would be in danger of being bombarded by UV rays from the sun and skin cancer cases would skyrocket, according to Science Daily.

We're not the only species affected

While we do things to affect sea life, like polluting the waters, it might be nature itself that does the job, if any of the above things happen. We can definitely be better stewards of the planet by stopping things like dumping garbage in the ocean. Yet, there are things that are just out of our control, and we will not be the only ones to suffer the consequences. 

It's not like we don't have enough on our plate to worry about. According to the New York Post, we are at risk of dying from everything from a giant meteor crashing down to a super volcano erupting (hi, Yellowstone National Park) to our own sun getting brighter and causing our water to evaporate. Oh, yes, there's climate change, too. So we just need to add this to the list. Obviously, there is only so much we can do but hope that any of these things happen in the very distant future, perhaps at a time when we have figured out how to get to other worlds.