Posted by: Nick Redfern on February 13th, 2013
In a new post at his Sci/Tech Blog, Matt Bille turns his attentions to those mysterious monsters of the oceans: Sea Serpents.
And he ponders on an interesting question: when should we be seeing these beasts of the deep?
Matt begins: “A thought experiment… I caution at the outset there are no good numbers for many of those figures, and I chose numbers that seemed reasonable AND made the math simpler. So this is a simplification of a complex situation using arbitrary numbers, but one has to start with something, and the problem of how often humans SHOULD identify a hypothetical unknown marine creature, called here a ‘sea serpent,’ niggled at me until I had to try something.
“The world’s oceans cover 139,000,000 square miles (statue miles). A variety of Web sources give figures of 12,000 to 90,000 vessels on the oceans at any moment. Let’s use a high number, 50,000, which covers (we are presuming) everything large enough to have a lookout (small pleasure craft, for example, would be excluded for the moment). A lookout can see 1.17 times the square root of his or her eye height above the ocean, in nautical miles (note the diversion in units here: you’ll see it’s not enough to matter), so from an arbitrarily chosen 49-foot spot on a mast or bridge that’s 8.19 miles. An object rising above the water essentially raises the horizon: you could, in perfect conditions, spot the head/neck of an animal rearing 9 feet out of the ocean 8.19 + 3.51 miles away, or 12.7 nm.”
This is a fascinating post, which you can find right here.