The Sea is His and He Made It!

Did You Know…?

  • … that only 29% of the earth’s surface is dry land; more than 70% is covered by water. In our northern hemisphere, the ratio of water to land is about 3:2, but the southern hemisphere is especially watery with a ratio of approximately 4:1.
  • … that for every square mile of dry land there are two and one half square miles of ocean surface, containing approximately 330 cubic miles of water. One cubic mile of water would fill a lake 26 miles long, 10 miles wide, and 20 feet deep.
  • …that the world oceans average about 12,500 feet in depth, or more than two miles deep.
  • … that the continents are actually islands rising out of the sea.
  • … that there are mountain ranges under the sea that are higher and longer than the ranges on the continents.
  • … that the highest mountain peak, Mt. Everest (approximately 29,000 feet elevation) could be sunk in the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific and be covered with water a mile deep!
  • … that there are broad plains under the sea flatter than any that exist on land, some varying little more than one foot in a mile.
  • … that the Polar ice cap floats!—because it is made of frozen water, and water expands about 9% when it freezes. This fact also limits the thickness of the Polar ice cap because it is always exposed to the warmth of the sun and air.
  • … that the oceans act as a giant air conditioning unit, helping to control the climate of all land surfaces.
  • … that God has provided creatures that live in the salt seas with special equipment by which the filter the salt from the water.
Someone has said that Planet Earth is wrongly named—it might better have been called “Planet Ocean.” The continents are really islands rising out of an enormous world ocean, which is subdivided into four major bodies of water, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian, and the Arctic Oceans, together with numerous other smaller bodies, seas, gulfs and bays. Altogether, these waters cover about 130 million square miles of our planet, or two and one half times the amount of habitable land.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons and Attribution ShareAlike License v. 1.0:
If we could view the floor of these giant oceans as we can see the land areas, we would find that they look much the same. Under the ocean are mountain ranges higher and longer than our Rocky Mountains. A depression in the floor of the Western Pacific Ocean known as the Mariana Trench is said to be large enough to contain six Grand Canyons.
Only during the last century have we learned much of the tremendous depths of the seas. In Bible times, the Hebrew People were familiar with the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean. But they knew nothing of the giant oceans. For centuries the earth was thought to be mostly soil and rocks, except for these smaller bodies of water. Not until exploration started during the fifteenth century were people widely aware of the breadth and vastness of the oceans, and that the earth was round and not flat (though God’s spokesman Isaiah had stated this fact several centuries before Christ – Isa. 40:22).
Every form of life requires water to survive. The human body is 70 percent water; blood is more than 95 percent water. Most vegetable plants are more than 90 percent water. A seed placed in the ground will not sprout and grow without moisture. Vegetables wither and die without adequate rainfall or irrigation. No life could exist on earth were it not for “the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in them…giving [us] rain from heaven and crops in their season; he provides [us] with plenty of food” (Acts 14:17, NIV).

A finite amount of water sustains all plant and animal life, and most of this water is contained in the oceans. To transport water from the large bodies to the land where it is needed, our Creator has wisely designed a cycle of evaporation, condensation and precipitation. The heat of the sun evaporates water from rivers, lakes, streams and seas. Even green grass, plants and trees send moisture into the air through a process called transpiration. (It is said that a single corn plant may lose a gallon of water to the air through its leaves on a hot summer day. An average full- grown apple tree sends as much as 2,000 gallons of water into the air during one growing season.) As moisture rises, it forms clouds, and as the clouds lift the moisture condenses and is dropped to the earth as rain, snow, hail or sleet, depending on atmospheric conditions.

What’s In the Sea?

A most exalted passage of Scripture describes the heaven, the earth, and “the seas, and all that is therein” (Neh. 9:6). And what a vast host of creatures inhabit the seas. There are more species of fish than of all other backboned animals combined. Marine life ranges in size all the way from the copepod, which is the size of a kernel of rice, to the blue whale, which often weighs over 100 tons.

Until the twentieth century, it was commonly believed that fish inhabited only the shallower parts of the ocean. But recent studies show some form  of life in every part of the sea. Even at the bottom of the Mariana Trench (35,800 feet down), both fish and shrimp have been seen.

The most densely populated areas of the sea are the sunlit parts, where food is readily available. Here also live the majority of the fish that are caught for use as seafood.

Sea water at depths greater than 1,000 feet is uniformly cold, averaging about 35 degrees Fahrenheit. But this is no deterrent to fish—our Great Creator has so designed them that their bodies are able to adopt the temperature of the surrounding water—so they are never uncomfortable!


In fact, God has designed fish with numerous special skills needful in their environment. For example, fish are able to swim quite effortlessly. When first hatched, they are so tiny that they are hardly visible. As they grow larger, they develop a layer of skin over their scales which is so thin that it is nearly invisible. This thin layer is designed to reduce friction from the water, allowing the fish to move easily and quickly through the water. Bottom-of-the-sea dwellers such as flounders also have chameleon characteristics which enable them to blend into the light sand or dark mud just below them—or even a gravel bottom. (One wonders how fish managed to develop this special coloration in their skin through evolution…?)

Fish have another built-in wonder of design. Think of the weight of the column of water above the body of a fish that is swimming at a depth of several miles. A normal animal would be crushed. But fish are equipped with a special swim bladder by which they are able to adjust to the pressure of weight of water above them. This swim bladder is filled with a lightweight gas. When the fish swims to a lower level, the increased pressure from the weight of the water on top of the fish squeezes the chamber; when the fish swims upward, the decrease in pressure permits the bladder to expand. The bladder chamber is filled with a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen which the fish takes out of the water by its gills. By increasing or decreasing the amount of gas in this chamber as it goes up or down, the fish is able to keep the pressure in its body equivalent to the pressure of the water at that depth, and so is not injured by the increased pressure.

Atlantic Salmon: USFWS
Our Creator has even designed the color of the fish to provide a special protective mechanism against its enemies: a dark back and a light belly. The silvery belly is difficult for an enemy to see looking up from below the fish, while the blues and grays of the back blend with the color of the sea when the fish’s enemy is looking down on the fish from above. This means that the fish’s enemy (bigger fish) must look harder for its prey, and more fish can survive.
Since fish live in water, and many live in salt water, fish are equipped with eyes that are sealed, so that the delicate organ is not affected by the salt in the water. The whale, being a mammal, has eyes similar to that of human eyes. But the whale’s eyes are protected from the salt by special glands that shed grease tears to keep out the brine.

The fish’s gills are another marvel of creation. Special membranes in the gills allow oxygen—but not water—to pass into the blood. (How long might fish have had to “work” to develop such a characteristic through evolution?)

One more characteristic of fish is what we might call a truly “sixth sense,” a sense of congregating and acting as a unit. By some unknown means (fish have no eardrum by which to hear), ocean fish congregate and travel in huge schools numbering thousands, even hundreds of thousands. Within these “schools” all fish face the same direction, all keep an approximately equal distance from each other, and if threatened all react as a single huge animal controlled as with a single brain, remaining parallel as they swim ahead, or turn right or left.

How is it all possible? We have only one answer: The hand that made them is Divine!