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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第338期:孤独的行星(3)

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We have managed once, briefly, to send humans to that depth in a sturdy diving vessel, yet it is home to colonies of amphipods, a type of crustacean similar to shrimp but transparent, which survive without any protection at all. Most oceans are of course much shallower, but even at the average ocean depth of two and a half miles the pressure is equivalent to being squashed beneath a stack of fourteen loaded cement trucks.
我们只有一次用坚固的潜水器成功地把人送到了那个深度,而且就一会儿,而那里却是端足目动物的家园。那是一种甲克纲动物,有点像小虾,不过是透明的。它们无须保护就能生存下去。当然,大多数海洋比较浅,但即使在平均深度为4公里的大海里,压力也相当于被压在叠在一起的14辆装满水泥的卡车底下。
lonely planetNearly everyone, including the authors of some popular books on oceanography, assumes that the human body would crumple under the immense pressures of the deep ocean. In fact, this appears not to be the case. Because we are made largely of water ourselves, and water is "virtually incompressible," in the words of Frances Ashcroft of Oxford University, "the body remains at the same pressure as the surrounding water, and is not crushed at depth." It is the gases inside your body, particularly in the lungs, that cause the problem. These do compress, though at what point the compression becomes fatal is not known. Until quite recently it was thought that anyone diving to one hundred meters or so would die painfully as his or her lungs imploded or chest wall collapsed, but the free divers have repeatedly proved otherwise. It appears, according to Ashcroft, that "humans may be more like whales and dolphins than had been expected."
包括一些海洋学科普作家在内的几乎每个人都认为,在大海深处的巨大压力下,人体会被压扁。实际上,情况似乎并非如此。由于在很大程度上我们本身也是由水组成的,而水——用牛津大学弗朗西斯·阿什克罗夫特的话来说——“实际上是压不扁的”,因此人体仍会保持与周围水一样的压力,不会被压死。麻烦的倒是体内的气体,尤其是肺内的气体。那里的气体确实会被压缩,但压缩到什么程度才会致命,这还不知道。直到最近,人们还认为,只要潜到100米左右的深处,肺脏会内爆,胸壁会破裂,他或她就会痛苦地死去,但裸潜者反复证明,情况恰好相反。据阿什克罗夫特说,似乎“人可以比预想的更要向鲸和海豚”。
Plenty else can go wrong, however.
然而,许多别的方面可能出问题。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
equivalent [i'kwivələnt]
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adj. 等价的,相等的
n. 相等物
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survive [sə'vaiv]
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vt. 比 ... 活得长,幸免于难,艰难度过
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cement [si'ment]
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n. 水泥,纽带,接合剂,牙骨质,补牙物,基石
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transparent [træns'perənt]
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adj. 透明的,明显的,清晰的
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pressure ['preʃə]
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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压
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fatal ['feitl]
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adj. 致命的,毁灭性的,决定性的
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sturdy ['stə:di]
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adj. 强健的,健全的
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compression [kəm'preʃ(ə)n]
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n. 压缩,浓缩,压紧
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protection [prə'tekʃən]
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n. 保护,防卫
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popular ['pɔpjulə]
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adj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的
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