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Oceans
The Ocean Floor



The Ocean Floor
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.46

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    abyss, bottomless, deep-ocean, hydrogen-sulfide, better, submersible, undersea, mid-ocean, seamounts, self-propelled, expedition, abyssal, continental, extremely, discovery, geothermal
     content words:    Challenger Deep, Galapagos Rift


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The Ocean Floor
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     In ancient times, sailors had to be very brave to sail out across the ocean in their wooden sailing ships. They knew that the ocean was dangerous. In fact, anyone who had been a sailor for a while probably knew of someone who had sailed out, never to return. What these sailors didn't know was what caused the dangers in the ocean. They didn't know what was really out there. So sailors pictured the ocean as a bottomless pit with huge, scary sea creatures living in the deep water. Adventure stories about sailors told of ships that were sunk or wrecked when a sea monster suddenly rose up through the water.
 
2     Today, we have a better picture of what it is really like under the ocean, thanks to the investigations of scientists. In the 1960s, the Navy built a deep-ocean submersible vehicle named Alvin. Alvin is a self-propelled vehicle, about eight meters long, that holds three people. It can dive to 4000 meters deep. Since that time, American and Japanese scientists have worked together to build submersibles that can go even deeper. They are working on one that will explore the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep, which is about 10,000 meters below sea level.
 
3     Thanks to the explorations of these sailors and scientists, we now know much more about the ocean floor than we did just 25 years ago.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
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