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SCIENCE FILE | I Didn't Know That

June 20, 1996

Q: Is sea level really level?

A: No. Where there are large concentrations of mass underneath the ocean floor, such as a submerged mountain, the force of gravity pulls the surface down. There is, for example, a depression about 300 meters deep in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It's about 1,000 miles across, however, so it is not noticeable from the surface.

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