Let’s face it, space exploration today isn’t much like what science fiction has trained us to expect. We want a bunch of scientists to pile into a glorified metal can, zoom out into space, then start poking around and finding all sorts of new life and bizarre creatures. Tragically, that doesn’t happen.
Not in space anyway.
But there is somewhere in the universe where basically that exact thing does happen! And that…is the deep oceans of Earth.
Think about it. Glorified metal can? Check. Teams of scientists going on adventures for the sake of expanding the horizons of human knowledge? Check. Strange, alien-seeming creatures like nothing we’ve ever seen before? Check check check! I mean seriously, check this out.
I freaking love this stuff.
But here’s the thing that really gets me (besides that glowy starburst thing, I mean): for the first time in human history, scientists around the world are able to pool their knowledge and expertise in real time to create a global community dedicated to discovery.
HOW COOL IS THAT?!?
And it’s not just oceanologists and marine biologists and other deep sea people. More and more I’ve been hearing about how all the different international space programs have been cooperating to help humanity reach further into space. Different teams around the world, all funded by different governments, are all working together to study the data being sent back to earth by the Curiosity Rover, or the New Horizons Probe, or other of humanity’s amazing space exploration projects.
I can’t tell you how much hope this gives me for the future of our world. I know we have a long way to go before we are one planet united in peace and understanding, but the fact that we are even capable of setting aside our nationalistic and political differences to work together on these two remarkable frontiers is just so…unlikely. But amazing. And inspiring.
And maybe, just maybe, if we can start with working together for scientific advancement, maybe that means we could work together for other things. Like repairing the environmental damage we have already done to our planet. Or ending war.
I know it’s a pretty big leap from consulting about a new type of jellyfish to peace on earth. But it’s the little things that give me hope. I want them to be signs of how things might be in the future. Indicators of what humanity could become with time and effort.
And yes, it would be a big effort. But maybe, with enough time, we could do it.
Whew, that got heavy. I don’t really want to end on that note. Um….here, look at this adorable octopus!!