Featuring C-DEBI scientist Victoria Orphan


Thousands of feet below the sea, in deposits crowded around the edges of the continents, there is more methane than you can imagine.

Seriously — whatever you are imagining, triple it. You’re getting close. Triple it again. There could be more methane in the ocean than all other fossil fuels on the planet. Some is held in deep, underwater reservoirs of oil and gas, but the majority of the methane is believed to be stored in a kind of slushy, fizzy ice called a “methane hydrate.”

“We actually don’t have a very good quantitative understanding of how much hydrate is out there,” says biologist Victoria Orphan, a long-time explorer of one of the last great unknown places on Earth. “Very little of the deep sea has been studied by scientists — probably less than 1 or 2 percent of all the seafloor.”