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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第391期:浩瀚的海洋(10)

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At 3,000 feet, their little porthole was subjected to nineteen tons of pressure per square inch. Death at such a depth would have been instantaneous, as Beebe never failed to observe in his many books, articles, and radio broadcasts. Their main concern, however, was that the shipboard winch, straining to hold on to a metal ball and two tons of steel cable, would snap and send the two men plunging to the seafloor. In such an event, nothing could have saved them.

到了900米,小舷窗受到的压力高达每平方厘米2.95吨。要是压力超过了结构的耐受极限,在这样的深度死亡是顷刻之间的事。毕比在许多书里、文章里和广播讲话里都清醒地提到这一点。然而,他们主要担心的是,那个拖着金属球和两吨重钢缆的船舷会断裂,把他们二人送入海底。要是发生那种情况,他们必死无疑。
whale

The one thing their descents didn't produce was a great deal of worthwhile science. Although they encountered many creatures that had not been seen before, the limits of visibility and the fact that neither of the intrepid aquanauts was a trained oceanographer meant they often weren't able to describe their findings in the kind of detail that real scientists craved. The sphere didn't carry an external light, merely a 250-watt bulb they could hold up to the window, but the water below five hundred feet was practically impenetrable anyway, and they were peering into it through three inches of quartz, so anything they hoped to view would have to be nearly as interested in them as they were in it. About all they could report, in consequence, was that there were a lot of strange things down there. On one dive in 1934, Beebe was startled to spy a giant serpent "more than twenty feet long and very wide." It passed too swiftly to be more than a shadow. Whatever it was, nothing like it has been seen by anyone since. Because of such vagueness their reports were generally ignored by academics.

他们的试验没有获得很有价值的科学成果。他们遇上了以前没有见过的生物,但由于能见度有限,而且两个人都不是受过训练的海洋学家,他们往往不能以真正的科学家所希望的那种方式详细描述自己的发现。球体外部没有灯光,他们只能把一个250瓦的灯泡拿到窗口,但150米以下的水基本上是不透光的,他们只能从7.6厘米厚的石英玻璃里费力地往外张望。于是就出现这样的情景:他们在里面有望兴趣盎然地张望的东西,非得是外面也在差不多同样兴趣盎然地张望他们的东西。结果,他们只能报告说下面有许多稀奇古怪的东西。在1934年的一次潜水中,毕比吃惊地看到一条大蛇,“有6米多长,很粗”。它飞快地游了过去,看上去不过是个黑影。不管它是什么,后来谁也没有看到过那种模样的东西。他的报告如此含含糊糊,因此没有引起学术界的多少注意。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
external [ik'stə:nl]

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adj. 外部的,外面的,外来的,表面的
n.

 
shadow ['ʃædəu]

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n. 阴影,影子,荫,阴暗,暗处
vt. 投阴

 
produce [prə'dju:s]

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n. 产品,农作物
vt. 生产,提出,引起,

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intrepid [in'trepid]

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adj. 无畏的,刚毅的

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spy [spai]

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n. 间谍,侦探,侦察
vt. 侦探,看到,找

 
describe [dis'kraib]

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vt. 描述,画(尤指几何图形),说成

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worthwhile ['wə:θ'wail]

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adj. 值得(做)的

 
visibility [.vizi'biliti]

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n. 能见度

 
impenetrable [im'penitrəbl]

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adj. 不能穿过的,不可理喻的

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observe [əb'zə:v]

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v. 观察,遵守,注意到
v. 评论,庆

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