Robert Kunzig is European editor of Discover magazine. The fact that he received awards for excellence in science journalism is quickly discerned upon reading the first few pages of this engrossing book. Kunzig artfully combines elegant writing with a facility for explaining science in plain English. His approach is to sketch both the very human activity of scientists who helped create an understanding of the ocean, over mainly the last fifty years, and the highlights of that understanding. That he combines both these aspects of science (a human activity and a collection of facts leading to understanding of the world around us) is, in my opinion, the primary value of the book.