The Gulf of Mexico

The world is filled with amazing and historically significant places. Some are very well known while others have mostly been forgotten. Many historical places involve a body of water, generally historical for its use in exploration.

This often includes rivers, oceans, bays, gulfs, sometimes even lakes and streams.

Regardless of whether the world knows the name or location of a specific place does not detract from its importance.

One amazing place in the world is the Gulf of Mexico. If you would like to learn more about this amazing place, reading for a list of fascinating facts.

Gulf of Mexico Facts for Kids

  • The Gulf of Mexico covers approximately six hundred thousand (600,000) square miles making it the ninth (9th) largest body of water in the world.
  • The Gulf of Mexico is home to four (4) endangered or threatened species of sea turtle. The hawksbill sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, and the loggerhead sea turtle.
  • The Florida Reef Tract is located within the Gulf of Mexico. The only state on the continent to have coastal reef formations is the state of Florida.
  • In the year 2010, and oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico due to an explosion that caused a platform to sink. The estimated amount of oil from the spill was approximately equal to five thousand (5,000) barrels of oil per day while the spill continued. It is estimated the spill totaled 4.9 million barrels which is equal to 206 million gallons.
  • It has been estimated that approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of the oil in the United States comes from the Gulf of Mexico. In the year 2011, the gulf of Mexico accounted for fifty-four percent (54%). This region also provided forty-seven percent (47) of the United States natural gas production in the same year.
  • Around half of the water in the Gulf of Mexico is shallow. The shallow areas cover the continental shelves.
  • Within the Gulf of Mexico, there is a trough. This trough is called Sigsbee Deep and it reaches fourteen thousand three hundred and eighty-three (14,383) feet deep.
  • There are twenty-nine (29) species of marine mammals located in the Gulf of Mexico. This list of species includes humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, minke whales, and the West Indian manatee.
  • The coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico encompass twenty-eight percent (28%) of the United States’ wetlands.
  • In the year 1497, the first European reached the Gulf of Mexico, his name was Amerigo Vespucci.
  • The Gulf of Mexico contains approximately six hundred and sixty quadrillions US gallons of water.
  • Fifteen thousand four hundred and nineteen (15,419) species have been inventoried by scientists in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • In the year 2014 commercial fishers brought in five hundred and forty-six thousand four hundred and seventy-eight (545,478) metric tons of seafood.


Question: How many major rivers run into the Gulf of Mexico?

Answer: Thirty-three (33).

Question: How many estuaries empty into the Gulf of Mexico?

Answer: Two hundred and seven (207)

Question: Approximately how many migratory birds land at the Gulf of Mexico?

Answer: 2.5 million.

Question: What is the name of the largest river that feed into the Gulf of Mexico?

Answer: The Mississippi River

The world is full of amazing places and amazing cultures.

The Gulf of Mexico is only one of the many. Did you know that the Gulf of Mexico is 810 nautical miles wide? Amazing right?!

This has been only a small sampling of the many interesting facts about the Gulf of Mexico, hopefully, you have learned something new!