XKCD's "Lakes and Oceans" chart of the other 70% of the planet

Randall Munroe's produced another in his series of his spectacular, gigantic charts of unimaginably large and complex things compared and rendered tractable by the human imagination. "Lakes and Oceans" has everything you need to cultivate an appreciation for the vasty depths and the ocean blue. Plus, a snarfworthy punchline at the deepest depths.

Lake and Oceans


    1.  Yeah I second that, it would have been nice to have Tahoe on there. 501 meters isn’t too shabby!

      1.  “It’s the terror of knowing what this abyssal plain is about,
          Watching James Cameron scream ‘Let me out!'”

    1.  When we lived in Boston, we tried a few different “great” restaurants in the North End (Italian part of town) and decided that the entire neighborhood was on top of the Marinara Trench and all the restaurants just pumped their sauce from there. We couldn’t figure out how else every single place would have the same “homemade” sauce :)

  1. Is there a higher quality resolution version somewhere (other than the XKCD site) so that it’s readable once embiggened?

    People can stay on my lawn, I just would like to be able to read the small print.  Yes, I’m using my bi-focals.  No, they’re not helping.

    1. Why “other than the XKCD site?”  If you go there and click on the comic it is 2,592px × 1,728px which is plenty big to read even for bi-focal wearers.

    2. I didn’t know you could click on it either and was coming to post the same thing. Go click on the chart – it’s lovely. 

      1. I did click on the chart, and it wasn’t enough (I find that wavery handwriting very difficult to read) so I manually zoomed.  A second click worked much better.  I’ve never needed to double click on that site before today.  Now I know….thanks, guys!

        1. Depending on your browser, it might resize the image to fit the screen by default, which is why you’d need the second click.

        1. Pro(er)-tip: don’t just click on everything because you don’t know if it’s clickable.  That’s the fast track to malware and trojans.

      1. “I think the problem was that we had a stonehenge monument that was in danger of being trampled … by a dwarf”

  2. I really, really want to know what James Cameron found behind that mysterious door.  
    I bet whatever it is, it was worth going solo  for. 

      1. Naw, it’s his stash of VHS copies of Piranha 2: The Spawning.  Guess his last one must have worn out.

  3. Crater Lake doesn’t seem accurate for it’s height above sea level. It’s also missing Wizard Island. The Dead Sea is shown being below sea level and the Great Lakes at a couple steps above, so shouldn’t Crater Lake’s surface be about 7000 ft above sea level?

  4. Question that’s been bugging me today…  Randall lists “Pressure at this depth would pop the cork into a champagne bottle” well above the Titanic.  Yet, the article on the Titanic in this month’s National Geographic listed a champagne bottle “with the cork still in it” as one of the artifacts recovered from the wreck.  Did they mean “the cork was completely inside the bottle” or did they mean that it was still intact? Brief interneting seems to indicate the bottle was intact.  So was this a goof, or is there more at work here than meets the eye?  (I imagine that it could have been more-carbonated-than-usual, but not THAT MUCH more-carbonated-than-usual).

      1. That would make a lot more sense, given the other things occurring relative to the depth.  Thanks!

      2. Yes, it must be an empty champagne bottle, because liquids are virtually impossible to compress.

      3.  Wonder if they mean that the wire cage and wax seal were intact? Like making a paper mache wrap around a balloon and then popping the balloon leaving the ‘cast’ still shaped like the balloon? Maybe the wire wrap is still in the shape of the cork? I dunno, I’m over thinking this I’m sure….

    1. Champagne corks are asymmetric and sort of mushroom-shaped with the “cap” of the mushroom on the outside, so the cork wouldn’t actually go in. I think that the pressure down there may be equal to that in a (shaken?) champagne bottle, though.

  5. I’m thinking about those whales that fight with the squid, perhaps we could send down teams of some kinda of cameras and have it be like boxing matches (but lethal)?

    1.  HOLY COW, no doubt!  Now we totally have to train Emperor Penguins to swim INTO nuke sub torpedo tubes and sabotage the subs!!!

    1. An easter egg.

      I’ll give you a clue: what interesting, geek-related number is located between 1250 and 1500 ?

  6. re. “The Abyss” — is this a reference to the James Cameron movie or is there such an underwater geological feature called “The Abyss”?

    also, yes, it’s rude to stare. which explains why it stares back.

  7. I’m kind of blown away by the knowledge that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in water that was shallower than it was long.

    1.  The Edmund Fitzgerald sank was because it was in shallow water in a storm.  The water became so rough that when the ship went into a trough it slammed the entire bottom of the ship against the lake floor.  If it had been in deeper water it likely would’ve survived.

  8. Also, this underlines just how technologically impressive  platform-based oil drilling really is, even if it sometimes goes horribly wrong.

    The north sea condeep platforms around here are up to 300m tall structures standing on the ocean floor, drilling down another 2.5 km or so.  Impressive enough, but the sheer well depth is dwarfed by the really deep ones (like the deeper end of the Gulf of Mexico projects).

  9. Hmm,

    I’m missing the French research Sub “Nautile” and the Japanese “Shinkai 6500”  which
    routinely go (manned) down to 6000 and 6500 meters respectively. Which makes over 90% of the ocean floor accessible. Personally, I find that more awesome than the 400 additional Bar that Mr. Cameron endured once. No doors down there at 650Bar, though …

  10.  And with growing importance. The share of deepwater oil as part of the world’s total is set to increase, basically as we run out of easier onshore oil and much of the Middle East is offlimits to exploration.

  11. at some point i figured that if you drew the pacific ocean from edge to edge on a regular sheet of paper then cut along your outline, the thickness of the paper was approximately to scale with the average depth.

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