The ocean terrifies me. I only saw the ocean once when I was a child on a family trip to Los Angeles. The beach was crowded, the air muggy, and the seagulls (which I don’t hate) plenty. As I relaxed on the sand, my hands slipped into the cool layers below the surface. And my fingers brushed something slimy and clear, likely a sandworm. Combined with the crowd and the terrifying predators of the deep, my few short hours with the ocean aren’t my favourite memory.

What I did love was the pier, featured on one of Star Trek Voyager episodes and countless other movies and tv shows, the seashells, and the smell of the salt air.

I haven’t been back to the ocean since. As far as bodies of water, I’ve been pretty limited in my exposure. That hasn’t hampered my fascination and love for the water, though. Water is a magical substance that seems to defy the laws of physics as we know it. Naturally, water and the ocean will feature strongly in my mermaid WIP.

Here are some magical facts about water and the ocean:

  • You can drink old sea ice, but not fresh sea ice or sea water. [1]
  • There are more artifacts in the ocean than there are in museums. [2]
  • Light doesn’t reach beyond 330 feet under the ocean. [3]
  • There are an estimated 3 million ship wrecks in the ocean. [4]
  • Waves under the ocean are big enough to see from space. [5]
  • Water is one of the few substances that expands when it freezes. [6]
  • The ocean, on average, is about 4 kilometers deep. [7]
  • It was thought water had a memory or memory-like mechanism. [8]
  • Everything dissolves in water. [9]
  • Approximately 91% of underwater species have yet to be discovered. [10]
  • Thanks to the hydrogen bonds, water is liquid at room temperature (instead of a gas). [11]
  • Hot water freezes faster than supercooled water, maybe. [12]
  • Waves, tides, and currents are caused by the wind, temperature, large displacements, and/or the moon. [13]
  • Waves are strong enough to move large boulders. [14]
  • Oceans have lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. [15 & 16]


  3. Essentials of Oceanography Tom S. Garrison Cengage Learning, Aug. 1, 2012 496 pages