BFO 4: Unlocking the ocean’s mysteries is like discovering our inner selves: Featuring Fiona Diato

Updated: Jul 16

Ever since their time on Earth, humans have had a basic instinct to discover the unknown. This has led to space exploration (landing humans on our moon), making the journey and actually living in Antarctica (the coldest place on Earth), and diving to the deepest part of our ocean (the Marianas Trench). These all sound pretty standard on paper, but take a step back to really process these achievements. Humans created the technology to actually get to and walk on the moon, humans can live on the coldest place on our planet, and humans have equipped themselves to go to the deepest depths possible of our oceans. There is, however, much more to be discovered.


The oceans, if you think about it, are very much like space - just inverted. There is an entire ecosystem deep in the oceans that we haven’t even discovered yet. Only a handful of people have actually gone to the deepest depths of our ocean, and even today we are still discovering new species. In reality, we’ve only discovered about five percent of the ocean, meaning we as humans only understand and know a fraction of what lies beneath its surface. Just this past year in 2019, scientists discovered new species of fish, sea slugs, deep sea coral, and more.


It’s important to remember, however, that the 95 percent of ocean that has yet to be discovered doesn’t mean there is a plethora for humans to take from, or take for granted. We also cannot assume that side effects of human behavior do not present themselves deep within our oceans. Just a few years ago, the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, was found to have plastic. Human design failures and consumer practices can reach the bottoms of our oceans and affect those precious ecosystems.


This also opens up the conversation for what this means for humanity. Humans, though we may be near the top of the food chain, have not yet found all there is to know about the world. The fact remains that, like space, our oceans are something that we really know nothing about yet. And if we as humans know how our behavior is affecting the five percent of the ocean we have discovered, it’s difficult to comprehend what the side effects have been to the remaining 95 percent. As we discover new things about our oceans, planet, and space every year, we also discover how little we actually know about not only the world we live in but actually ourselves. We may know all about the people and societies walking on earth’s surface, but we really know nothing about the organisms living beneath it.


Just like the oceans, we have not discovered a lot of ourselves. When you ask how much of yourself remains a mystery, you might be surprised. So many of us are moving through life so quickly, that we don’t create the time or space to dive deeper within. By this, I mean that we have yet to discover so many nuances about our own bodies, minds, and spirits, that are waiting for our discovery. Personally, reflecting inwards has been the greatest gift to myself. It is really empowering to understand that you can make changes on the inside, whether it be focusing on your core values or opening up to others, that will result in visible change on the outside. A great tool to unlock the mysteries of our own minds and thoughts, is keeping a journal. I faded in and out of journaling, and currently I benefit from writing down the thoughts in my rapidly flowing mind. Keeping a journal or notebook beside your bed can be incredibly beneficial to clearing your mind and creating peace for yourself. When you are peaceful, your environment and community will naturally be at more peace. Again, your emotional state is a direct reflection on how you perceive the world… If you choose to use and develop your personal toolkit, nothing will stop you from reaching your full potential!


Fiona Diato is from the Los Angeles area and is a senior who is double majoring in Strategic Communications and Political Science at Elon University in North Carolina. Fiona is a writer and editor for her school’s lifestyle magazine and recently returned from studying abroad in London this past spring. Fiona has always shared a passion for the environment, especially in regards to our oceans and wildlife conservation. After her graduation, Fiona hopes to move to the east coast, or even internationally.

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