Does undersea terrain warfare have a future? Or is it pure fantasy? One of the world's foremost ocean explorers thinks that the U.S. Navy should take a more serious look at the ocean floor as a potential next battlefield, where terrain-involved submarines like the one lurking here in an ocean valley could control targeting and weapon systems deployed on the bottom.
Knowledge of the deep-sea landscape is still in its infancy. Not until 1960 did scientists first recognize the Mid-Ocean Ridge as the largest mountain range on the surface of the planet, covering approximately 23% of its total surface. Even now, no U.S. scientist ever has taken a submersible to the largest portion of this range, which lies in the southern hemisphere.