Jet aircraft are large, but not compared with the ocean. The weeks-long search for some physical sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is not something we should wonder at, considering the frontier nature of our blue planet.
The 29% of our planet that is land is inhabited by more than 7 billion of our species, at least a few of whom would have reported a crash or hijacked aircraft. By contrast, the ocean that covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and 97% of its living habitat rarely has more than a few million people on or about its surface. These include commercial mariners, fishermen, cruise ship passengers, sailors aboard the world’s military fleets, offshore oil and gas workers, research scientists and the odd sea gypsy.