The Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor

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Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen's map of the ocean floor, hand-drawn by Heinrich Berann.
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Take a look at the map of the ocean floor. In the Atlantic Ocean, the continental shelf gives way to a steep descent into the the Hatteras Abyssal Plain, then it climbs back up at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Then the Pacific: therein lies the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench. The ocean floor has mountain ranges and valleys, just like dry land. And the map of these highs and lows also holds the key to plate tectonics — the theory that explains how continents move.

But few people know anything about the person behind the map: a woman named Marie Tharp.

Marie Tharp is part of a long list of women whose contributions to science have been overshadowed, or even hidden, by the men who worked with them. Her own partner dismissed her findings as "girl talk" at first. 

Hali Felt, creative writing professor at the University of Alabama, literally wrote the book about Marie Tharp, called "Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor.