This gigantic “9” is 3281 ft. long, drawn with a 197 ft. wide pen, printed 26 ft. down in the sediments 820 ft. below sea level in the Barents Sea.
– We have seen many lines and scribbles on the seabed. They were made when glaciers overturned during the last ice age. The icebergs have traveled with the ocean currents, and parts of them have come in contact with the ocean floor, says Hanne Hodnesdal at the Norwegian Mapping Authority to NRK.no.
– The bottom is soft – it mostly consists of fine-grained sediments, mainly gravel containing clay, says oceanographer and glacier expert Lilja Rún Bjarnadóttir at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) to VG.
The Mareano Project maps depth, bottom conditions, biodiversity, habitats and pollution in sediments in Norwegian coastal and marine areas.
As part of the mapping process images of the seabed are captured by means of pulses from a surface vessel. Sound pulses are reflected from the bottom and all measuring points are used to create a terrain model of the seabed.
This huge “9” was discovered on the ocean floor northeast of the Northern Norwegian city of Vadsø.
– We’ve got pictures of many such scribblings. We found a pretty clear drawing of a bird in the Norwegian Sea, but apart from that the 9 is the most special, since it’s so clear, says Hodnesdal.
All depressions that occurred around 10,000 years ago now play an important role in the Barents Sea.
– It is important for various marine species. Some thrive in depressions, while others thrive on ocean floor elevations. It has both to do with ocean currents and sediment types, Hodnesdal says.
Photo by: Norwegian Mapping Authority /Mareano Project
Text modified by: Thor Bugge Lanesskog