1/3 Die in Bloody Sea, Revelation Chapter 8 Verses 8-9 (NASB)

    And the second angel sounded, and SOMETHING like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea;
This is a difficult one for John to describe; what he sees is "something" like a great mountain. This one is on fire, and clearly it lands in the sea. The literal view of this is that it is a meteorite hit on the earth (ocean). In John's time, the sea usually meant the Mediterranean Sea, but the Atlantic, Pacific, or Indian Oceans, as we know those bodies of water, are roughly a third of the earth's water. Hence, this burning meteorite could have hit any one of them. The consequences would be a tidal wave (estimated between 1000-2000 feet high) would cause much destruction of coastal property and life.

The symbolic view would indicate a great purging among godless mankind. Isaiah 57:20 says the wicked are like the tossing sea. The mountain could be a destroying nation as in Jeremiah 51:24-26 . Or as in Daniel 2:31-35 , Nebuchadnezzar's dream and its interpretation, Daniel 2:44-45 , the nation is indicated as the Jewish nation and the Lord's coming empire.
    and 1) a THIRD of the sea became BLOOD;
The literal view would be that the meteorite caused a water heating with a tremendous growth of red colored plankton, for example. Be aware that this isn't BLOOD. Or it could be a naval battle with chemical warfare and actual BLOOD being spilled. Or, most likely, a THIRD of the sea will be turned into BLOOD using an undetermined method. Remember, this is God's judgment.

The symbolic view says this is a judgment of the spirit of mankind. The water and blood are the same as the spirit as indicated in 1 John 5:6-12. So this trumpet blast affects the spirit of a third of mankind.

    and 2) a THIRD of the CREATURES, which were in the sea and had life, DIED;
This may be a partial fulfillment of the prophesies in Hosea 4:1-3 and Zephaniah 1:2-6. It is partial in that only a THIRD are removed with this trumpet. How this will be done is a mystery. However, once it will be accomplished, the stench will be noticeable on the earth. Furthermore, we know so little about the inhabitants of the sea, how will we know that a THIRD of them died. We just have to take God at His Word.

A symbolic view would be that a THIRD of the "sea" of unbelievers would die. This is plausible given that the FIRST trumpet destroyed so much in the way of trees and green grass (grains or sustenance). When this happens, the shocker here will be how many religious people (aka church goers) die.

    and 3) a THIRD of the ships were destroyed.
The literal view says a meteorite impact would toss ships to and fro, and obviously sinking some. Furthermore, the tidal wave would create much damage to ships in port.

The symbolic view is that the ships are representative of vessels of war and commerce. This implies that a THIRD of businesses would fail because of economic depression, and hence the business community is slowly destroyed. A world in depression really does not have a need for war ships. "The ships of Tarshish" and the "beautiful craft" are equated with human pride. They are prophesied to "be humbled" in Isaiah 2:12-22.

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only.