Second Trumpet and Bowl in Revelation

Chapter 10 – Oceans in Revelation and Science

Revelation’s 2nd trumpet announces the death of 1/3 the ocean’s creatures. The 2nd bowl pours out death on every living creature in the oceans. Scientists say in 1950 there were 45 dead zones in the world’s oceans. Today, there are 500. Marine biomes are dying off from warming waters, anoxia, acidification, pollution, overfishing, and disruption of food webs causing plagues that spiral in vicious cycles. Science supports Revelation; the oceans are dying.

Revelation says that a third–increasing to all–sea creatures in the oceans will die.

Vanishing Beauty [38]
Plagues of Jellyfish flourish due to killing off their predators (like sharks). Red Tide kills fish. Overfishing the Oceans by 2.5x is unsustainable. Beach Trash is a small sample from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 100 million sharks are killed a year harming marine ecosystems. River of Pollution flows into the ocean. Bleached Corals in dying reefs are caused by warming oceans. Light green water along the Namib Desert beach is a sulfur event killing millions of fish, so expansive it can be seen from space. Revelation says the oceans will die. Science says the oceans are dying. [39]

Revelation says eventually every living thing in the oceans will die. Science says there are 500 dead zones and by 2048 all marine fisheries will collapse. Both agree, oceans are dying.

The Second Trumpet

Rev 8:8-9         [Part A] The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; [Part B] and a third of the sea became blood,  and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

The Second Bowl

Rev 16:3          [Part A] The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and [Part B] it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.

Note: In Part A, the angel(s) is real, but the “mountain with fire” is metaphorical for great power executing judgment (fire) coming down from heaven. The pouring out of a “bowl” is metaphorical for a curse (something that tears down). These meanings are determined from word studies showing OT Hebraic usage. Part B is mostly literal, except the “blood” and its color can be literal, figurative, or both. It believe it is both.

The transition from the death of a third to every living creature in the oceans indicates a long-term process, not an acute catastrophe. God is merciful. He gives time and plenty of opportunity to repent and/or prepare, like He did in the days of Noah who took 100 years to build the ark.[1]

            “A third of the sea became blood” is a mixture of literal and figurative speech. The sea is real, but the blood symbolizes death. It may also indicate the color of the oceans due to massive algae or bacterial blooms. Literal death includes a third of the plankton, seaweed, corals, fish, and oceanic mammals knocking out part of the fishing industry (which along with increased intensity of hurricanes destroy a third of the ships), therefore, losing more of the life-support system for humankind. A billion people on earth depend on the oceans as their primary source of protein. However, if millions of tons of fish are harvested and/or masses of human corpses are thrown into the water from the great tribulation, there could be literal blood in the waters. The most likely is a combination.

Pollution Causing Dead Zones

            Scientific American reported toxic chemicals in oceans produced by another process dominating marine coastal regions around the globe:

            “Fertilizer contains large amounts of nitrogen, and it runs off of agricultural fields in water and into rivers, and eventually into oceans. This fertilizer runoff, instead of contributing to more corn or wheat, feeds massive algae blooms in the coastal oceans. This algae, in turn, dies and sinks to the bottom where it is consumed by microbes, which                 consume oxygen in the process. More algae means more oxygen-burning, and thereby less oxygen in the water, resulting in a massive flight by those fish, crustaceans and other ocean-dwellers able to relocate as well as the mass death of immobile creatures, such as clams or other bottom-dwellers. And that’s when the microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments take over, forming vast bacterial mats that produce hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas.”[2]

            Sometimes the waters turn toxic so fast that fish cannot flee resulting in millions of dead fish washed up on the beaches. On the Atlantic coast of southern Africa in Namibia, the ocean water periodically turns a stinky yellow. Forty years ago, Namibia’s fishing grounds were among the richest in the world with an annual catch of 10 million tons of sardines (about 100 billion fish) due to cold, nutrient-rich, deep waters and currents. After decades of foreign fleets overfishing these stocks, they were nearly wiped out by the 1970s; less than one tenth remains today with no recovery in sight. When abundant, the fish ate copious amounts of phytoplankton in the region, which kept the system balanced. When the fish plummeted, the phytoplankton blooms exploded, died, sank to the bottom by tons, decayed, and through bacterial decomposition produced sedimentary layers saturated with two gases: hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methane (CH4). (H2S levels of 100 ppm and higher can be lethal.) This process has cycled over decades. When a storm hits the area, the low pressure in the atmosphere causes low pressure in the ocean to release copious methane bubbles to the surface carrying with them the hydrogen sulfide that mixes with water to form sulfur. This is called a sulfur event. The sulfur permeates the water turning the ocean from blue to yellow expelling a poisonous stench like rotten eggs into the atmosphere. The discoloration of the ocean can be monitored by satellites and covers thousands of square miles. Coastal towns stink. Beaches are blanketed with millions of dead fish that were paralyzed by the hydrogen sulfide and suffocated. This periodic yellow ocean flooding the beaches with dead fish has been recorded for over eighty years. Each eruption releases enough methane to cover the state of New Jersey putting an enormous amount of a very potent greenhouse gas, methane, into the atmosphere.[3] God-created nature had a clean, life-sustaining balance. Man without limits upset that balance, and it turned dirty and deadly.

            The National Academy of Sciences estimates that 14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year from boats and ships alone.[4] Globally, “over 30 billion tons of urban sewage [is] discharged into lakes, rivers and oceans each year.”[5] Remember, many rivers end in the ocean. The U.S. Navy finally admitted that it poured overboard 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines, and rockets, and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste.[6] The 2011 tsunami forced a nuclear crisis in Japan. By April, the Japanese officials allowed owners of the broken Fukushima nuclear power plant to empty tanks holding 10,000 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.[7]

            “Each day, the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers dump no less than 2.3 billion pieces of plastic into the ocean totaling roughly thirty tons.”[8] A federally funded study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin estimates that 639,000 plastic containers are dropped into the oceans daily from merchant ships.[9] Billions of tons of plastic debris clog the central Pacific Ocean in the northern hemisphere like an ever-flushing toilet with its clockwise currents, poisoning fish and birds. The technical name is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”[10] A list of 253 marine species are confirmed victims of garbage pollution by a staff biologist with the Marine Mammal Commission. Thousands of Laysan albatross chicks are dying every year on Midway Island leaving behind bony corpses bulging from plastics and other nonbiodegradable, manmade objects that impacted their intestines causing them to starve to death.[11] Over 100,000 sea mammals, sea birds and various types of fishes die each year because of plastic wastes in the oceans.[12] 

            MDs counsel all pregnant women to restrict their fish intake due to mercury pollution. Ten percent of all dredging from rivers and harbors dumped into the ocean is polluted with heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, and chromium that are toxic to marine organisms and end up in our seafood.[13] Researchers from Nature reported that mercury levels in the upper ocean have tripled since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.[14] Heavy metals in general can cause nasty diseases like Minimata (mercury poisoning: neurological damage affecting hands, feet, muscles, vision, hearing, speech, leading to insanity and paralysis and mimicking MS) and itai itai (cadmium poisoning: “it hurts-it hurts disease” damaging spine, joints, bones, and kidneys). India uses heavy metals in fungicides. Pulp mills, industrial and domestic sewage wastes using mercury are dumped into the rivers and oceans. Fish can absorb heavy metals directly from the water or through the food chain. Fish and shellfish concentrate metals in their tissues to much higher levels as they continually eat organisms with trace metals in their tissues. Metals have a long “residence time” exerting their toxic effect over an extended time. They increase toxicity as water temperature rises. All of these metals are toxic even at low levels, readily absorbed by marine organisms, and inhibit many biochemical functions in animals that consume them.[15] In March 2001, 2,265 victims of Minimata (1,784 of whom had died) were recognized by Japan so by 2004 the Chisso Corporation paid out $86 million in compensation to over 10,000 victims. By March 29, 2010 another settlement was reached.[16] Ocean currents circulate these poisons around the world.

            Pollution from Midwestern farms has flowed down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico where it has killed virtually all fish and shrimp in an anoxic “dead zone” south of New Orleans. As of 2014, the Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone stretches over 5,052 square miles (the size of Connecticut) of low-oxygen water off much of Louisiana’s coast and part of Texas.[17] Its waters are poisoned with a combination of fertilizer, sewage, and industrial run-offs. These pollutants feed large blooms of algae that ultimately deplete the oxygen in the water killing off the fish. (However, jellyfish thrive.)

            Due to sewage, overfishing, and agricultural runoff, 70% of the world’s reefs are now either dead or dying.[18] “Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land.”[19] It includes runoff from many nonpoint sources such as septic tanks, motor vehicles, boats, farms, ranches, and cities. The rest comes from point sources such as cities dumping sewage, toxic wastes, heavy metals, hazardous chemicals, agricultural and industrial wastes, and every kind of imaginable garbage dumped into rivers that end in the ocean or dumped directly into the ocean. Examples of dead zones are found in Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, the Baltic Sea, Scandinavia’s Kattegat Strait, the Black Sea, the Adriatic Sea, off the coasts of South America, China, Japan, southeast Australia, in the Gulf of Mexico, and many points on the east and west coasts of the U.S.[20]

“A third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died, ” (Revelation 8:9). [40]

            In 1950, there were 45 dead zones in the oceans around the world; zones so devoid of oxygen or so toxic that fish could not survive. Research in 2008 counted 405 dead zones in oceans around the world and this number is growing.[21] As of 2018, Britain’s top newspaper, The Guardian, reported “at least 500 dead zones have now been reported near coasts” around the world.[22] Professor Robert Diaz at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science emphasizes not only “the increasing expansion of coastal dead zones [but the] decline in open ocean oxygen” that will lead to “severe and persistent mortality of fisheries.”[23]

            The oceans’ fisheries (large populations of different species) are dying from rising temperatures, anoxia, pollution, overfishing, and plagues due to tropic cascades (i.e. kill off predators, like the harvest of 274,000 sharks every day, and a plague of jellyfish destroys fisheries).


            “In 2003, a scientific report estimated that industrial fishing had reduced the number of large ocean fish to just 10 percent of their preindustrial population.”[24] Ninety percent of the large fish in the oceans are gone. Regarding all the fish, large and small in the oceans: 53% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, 32% are overexploited or depleted, the top ten marine fisheries (30% of the fish) are fully or overexploited.[25] “The global fishing fleet is 2.5 times larger than what the oceans can sustainably support–meaning that humans take far more fish from the ocean than can be replaced naturally.”[26] “Led by the sushi market in Japan, the global demand for succulent tuna meat has driven stocks of the once ubiquitous species to the brink of collapse. Fisheries in the Mediterranean . . . are in particular peril, with some studies showing highly prized blue fin tuna near extinction there.”[27] The Atlantic cod and California’s sardines were harvested to the brink of extinction by the mid-1900s. The Peruvian anchovy fisheries crashed in the 1970s. The cod fishery off Newfoundland collapsed in the 1990s. The sole fisheries in the Irish Sea and English Channel are close to shutting down. Pacific herring is down 71%, Atlantic herring down 63%. By 1989, 90 million tonnes per year of catch were being taken from the oceans crossing a peak of production, which has been level since the 1990s. “Unless the current situation improves, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048.”[28] The World Health Organization states that one billion people on the planet depend on fish as their primary protein source.

            Across the world, scientists have noted that the removal of one component from any oceanic system can have a disruptive domino-effect on other components; they call this trophic cascades.[29] A hundred million sharks are killed each year, 700,000 tons of shark are brought to land each year. That is about 274,000 sharks killed every day. Shark fin soup is big in Asia. Shark cartilage is sold in my local vitamin store. As this predator decreased, their prey–cow-nosed rays–increased and totally consumed their food source, scallops, thus wiping out the scallop fishery on the East Coast of the United States.[30]

Oceanic Plagues

            A plague of jellyfish has hit the world’s oceans. Scientist Dr. Lisa-Ann Gershwin reported for CNN that popular beach resorts around the world are seeing huge increases in jellyfish bloom, a result of overfishing and warming water temperatures.[31] The numbers in the French and Spanish Riviera, Chesapeake Bay, the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii . . . are reaching plague proportions. In Hawaii, up to a thousand people in one day have been stung. It has not been uncommon in recent years for a half a million people to be stung during an outbreak.

            There are more than 2,000 species of jellyfish and most have harmless stings, some cause excruciating pain, but others–such as several species of the box jellyfish–have killed many people in Australia, Japan, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. Among them are the sea wasp and the northern Australian box jellyfish, the world’s most venomous animals with tentacles up to three meters (almost ten feet) long. Size does not prevent the Irukandji, which is small enough to fill a thimble, from being equally as poisonous. Just the slightest brush and the pain in the human body shoots to unimaginable heights, breathing is strangled, limbs are paralyzed, and vomiting and blood pressure skyrocket, terminating in death. “Jellyfish occur in all marine waters from pole to pole and at all depths,” says Gershwin. “The life threatening ones are found from 40 degrees north to 40 degrees south latitude.” Major predators of jellyfish are sharks, tunas, swordfish, and some species of salmon–the very fish that humankind is decimating with overfishing. Sea turtles like to eat jellyfish, but many turtles are dying from eating floating plastic bags that they mistake for jellies.

            What do jellyfish eat? Some eat fish, but most devour prodigious quantities of phytoplankton.[32] (Phytoplankton is a carbon sink as well as a major part of the food web for larger fish.) The Irish Times reported that jellyfish killed thousands of salmon. These exploding gelatinous plankton blooms of jellyfish have been harming other fisheries in the Mediterranean.[33] A new study from researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) reports that jellyfish drastically alter marine food webs. VIMS scientist Rob Condon et al. said, “Jellyfish are voracious predators. They affect food webs by devouring plankton that would otherwise be eaten by fish, and converting that food energy into gelatinous biomass. This restricts the transfer of energy up the food chain, because jellyfish are not readily consumed by other predators.” The carbon in the phytoplankton is no longer available for fish, but is given off by the jellyfish as mucus (slime) and excretion, which are consumed by bacteria that rapidly metabolize it into carbon dioxide (CO2). Whereas phytoplankton is a carbon sink and gives off oxygen, jellyfish blooms and their bacteria are a carbon source increasing the CO2 in the water (thus, increasing ocean acidification) and in the atmosphere, while decreasing the nutrients and oxygen available for fish and shellfish that humans eat. “A third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died.”[34] Tomorrow, when the second bowl pours out, everything in the sea will die.

The Death of Every Living Thing in the Oceans

            The Ocean Conveyor Belt/thermohaline circulation/Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is constantly moving a global system of deep-ocean currents–a circulation driven by temperature and salinity. It drives global ocean currents by the cooling and sinking of water at high latitudes off the coast of Greenland and Norway where freezing Arctic air lowers the water’s temperature and forces fresh water out of sea ice leaving behind heavy, salty water that quickly plummets to the bottom of the ocean pushing currents southward then around the globe; currents that carry nutrients, oxygen, and distribute energy/heat. It takes a thousand years to circulate the water throughout all the oceans.

            With global warming, melting glaciers are pouring more fresh water into the ocean, and ocean temperatures are rising. Eventually, these conditions will stop the AMOC.[35] The oceans will become stagnant, anoxic (without oxygen), and toxic from the blood of dead fish and decaying organisms. Bacteria like Chromatiaceae thrive on such conditions and turn the water red. Algae blooms like Karenia brevis, the cause of “red tide,” prefers anoxic conditions coloring the water a deep crimson: “It became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.”[36] Red tide attacks the nervous systems of fish, birds, and marine mammals killing off what few are left from overfishing. Once again, the lack of oxygen in oceans is associated with death.

             Coral reefs will eventually be a memory. In warmer, acidified, polluted, plasticized, and sometimes fiery waters, even the phytoplankton and algae struggle to survive. The exceptions that thrive are toxic red tides of algae or red waters of bacterial toxins. Phytoplankton used to be the world’s major carbon sink. Soon the ocean will be one more carbon source, and the global temperature will keep on rising. The global marine biome will be a system in collapse. Revelation’s prophecy will come to pass: “Every living thing in the sea died.”


            Five hundred dead zones–and increasing–in the oceans today are shutting down marine biomes from warming temperatures, anoxia, acidification, pollution, overfishing, and the disruption of marine food webs causing plagues spiraling in vicious cycles.

             Revelation’s oceanic prophecies–the death of our oceans–are happening before our eyes and on a collision course with calamity. Most of us in America sigh at the disturbing rise in prices of fish, then return to our comfort bubbles. But when this planet’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems (not to mention pandemics like covid-19 taxing all resources) hit critical thresholds crashing economies, job markets, food supplies, medical facilities, and other life resources, there will be no more bubbles. One man will unite us. God will destroy us.[37] We will be on a collision course for global collapse.

             Like Noah, we must be ready!

                [1] Matt 24:37, “The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.”

                [2] Davod Biello, “Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread,” August 15, 2008. . . . . Biello reported 405 dead zones in 2008.

                [3] National Geographic, DVD, “Strange Days on Planet Earth,” episode 5, “Dangerous Catch.” The scientists who discovered this phenomena were Bronwen Curry in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Swakopmund, Namibia; Scarla Weeks from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia; and Andrew Bakun from PEW Institute for Ocean Science in Miami, USA. c.f.

                [4] Ibid., 70.

                [5] “40 Facts About Water Pollution,” Conserve Energy Future. c.f. on the same site: various-global-warming-facts.

                [6] Moore, 70-71.

                [7]  c.f. c.f.

                [8] Charles Moore, Plastic Ocean (New York: Avery, the Penguin Group, 2012) 74.

                [9] Moore, 70-71.

                [10] This term was coined by Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation whose journeys across the ocean uncovered an endless floating waste of plastic trash.

                [11] Ibid., 122-123.

                [12] Conserve Energy Future.


                [14] C. H. Lamborg et al. “A global ocean inventory of anthropogenic mercury based on water column measurements,” Nature  (Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2014) 65-68. c.f.  Anne Casselman, “Humans have tripled mercury levels in upper ocean,” Nature, August 6, 2014.

                [15]­_REPORTER_VOL_20(3)_158-160.pdf. March 1983.

                [16] Official government figure as of March 2001 found in  Minamata Disease: The History and Measures, ch. 2.  c.f.  Jane Hightower, Diagnosis Mercury: Money, Politics and Poison, (Island Press, 2008) 77. c.f. “Agreement reached to settle Minamata suit,” Asahi Shimbun news, March 2010. c.f.­_disease.

                [17] Melodi Smith and Jason Hanna, CNN, “Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ is the size of Connecticut.” August 7, 2014. Reporting from research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). NOAA estimates that the annual cost of algae blooms to U.S. seafood and tourism is more than $82 million. c.f. wikipedia, “Dead Zone (ecology).

                [18] Lynas, 60.

                [19] “What is the biggest source of pollution in the ocean?” c.f. Sewage-Nutrients-and-Chemicals.


                [21] “What Causes Ocean “Dead Zones?” September 25, 2012.

                [22] Damian Carrington, “Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn,” January  4, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.the

                [23] Ibid.

                [24] Ibid.

                [25] World Wildlife Federation (WWF Global), “Unsustainable fishing.”

                [26] World Wildlife Federation, “Overfishing-the plundering of our oceans.”


                [28] B. Worm et. al., (2006), “Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services.” Science, 314:787.

                [29] Trophic has to do with nutrition/food.

                [30] citing statistics from Greenpeace and WWF. The international shark protection initiative SHARKPROJECT estimates 20 million sharks per year are killed.

                [31], c.f. Lisa-Ann Gershwin, Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean.

                [32] Press Release 11-115; “Jellyfish Blooms Transfer Food Energy from Fish to Bacteria.” Jan 2, 2015.  Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

                [33] Fernando Borea, “Review of Jellyfish Blooms in the Mediterranean and Black Sea,” a report for the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean and the United Nations.

                [34] Rev 8:9. This is the second trumpet. By the second bowl, “everything in the sea died” (Rev 16:3).

                [35] “The Global Conveyor Belt,” NOAA Ocean Service Education. Scientists hypothesize that the AMOC  might stop but express doubt. National Research Council, Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 2013) 39-44. However, Revelation says that everything in the sea will die, so shutting down AMOC is the number one suspect for such a monumental change.

                [36] Rev 16:3, “The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.” The blood of a living person is oxygenated so it is bright red in the arteries and darker red in the veins with less oxygen. The blood of a dead person is anoxic, thus deep, dark red. It clots and becomes thick and sludgy with a putrid odor peculiar to decomposing corpses, in this case, from the rotting bodies of all the dead sea creatures in the sea.  ESV, “The fish in the Nile died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt” (Exod 7:21). c.f. Margaret Sturgill Jeys, Revelation for the Common Man, Book 1,  (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2010) 149.

                [37] Rev 11:18, God will “destroy those who destroy the earth.”

                [38] “Bora Bora” by Maria Michelle on

                [39] “White Jellyfishes” by Bugra Dogan from “Red Tide” Source: September 4, 2019. Author: NOAA, U.S. government. Found on Wikimedia: jellyfish. “Red Tide” by NOAA, U.S. Government on June 22, 2009. Found on Wikimedia: red tide. “Trawler’s Overfishing Cod.” “A trawler reeling in a fishing net containing hundreds of thousands of codfish; and example of overfishing. Author: “own work” on Wikimedia: overfishing. Creative Commons Attribution (CCA)-Share Alike 4.0 International license. “Beach Trash from Great Pacific Garbage Patch” by Justin Dolske on Wikimedia: Pacific garbage patch, December 10, 2016. “The Great Pacific garbage patch causes vast quantities of trash to wash ashore at the south end of Hawaii. CCA-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. “Great White Shark” by Elias Levy, August 13, 2014. CCA 2.0 Generic license on Wikimedia: Great White shark. “Coastal Pollution” by Thakur Dalip Singh on September 20, 2010. “An aerial view releasing toxic chemical in ocean city near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CCA-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license on Wikimedia: ocean pollution. “Bleached Branching Coral” (Acropora sp.) at Heron Island Great Barrier Reef by J. Roff on January 21, 2005. CCA-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. on Wikimedia: bleached coral. “Hydrogen Sulfide Emissions Off of Africa,” by NASA Earth Observatory using Terra Satellite (443 miles above earth), U.S. Government. “The milky-green colors in the ocean along Namibia’s coast indicate high concentrations of sulfur and low concentrations of oxygen” killing thousands of fish that wash upon the beaches.

               [40] “Fish Kill Pollution” author is the United States Fish and Wildlife Service which has released this image into the public domain. Found on Wikimedia Commons.