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The Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean out of Earth’s five oceans.

It is regarded as the youngest of the major oceans in the world.

It is named after India. However, the Indian Ocean was earlier known as the ‘Eastern Ocean’ or ‘Eastern Star.’

Indian Ocean Facts for Kids

  • The Indian Ocean covers an area of about 70,560,000 kilometers square (27,240,000 square miles). This means that the Indian Ocean makes up about 20% of the water on the surface of the earth.
  • The Indian Ocean has a maximum width of 6,200 miles (10,000 kilometers), an average depth of 3,741 meters (12, 274 feet), a maximum depth of 7,906 meters (25,938 feet) and a volume of 292,131,000 cubic meters.
  • The Indian Ocean is bounded on the north by Asia; on the west by Africa; on the east by Australia; and on the south by Antarctica, which is also known as the Southern Ocean.
  • The deepest point of the Indian Ocean is called the Sunda Deep. It is found in the Java Trench, located near the southern part of Java in Indonesia.
  • Every year the Indian Ocean grows wider by 20 centimeters. It happens as a result of the melting of the polar caps (area around either the North Pole or South Pole that is permanently covered in ice).
  • Some of the world’s important ports can be found in the Indian Ocean. They include ports in Jakarta, Indonesia; Columbo, in Sri Lanka; Chennai, in Midras India; Melbourne, in Australia; Durban and Richard Bay, in South Africa; Mumbai, in Bombay India; and Kolkata, in Calcutta India.
  • The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. As a result, the ocean is not favorable to marine (sea) life when compared to other oceans of the world.
  • About 40% of the world’s supply of oil is obtained from the depth of the Indian Ocean, while more than 80% of the world’s sea trade in oil is transported through the Indian Ocean.
  • The Indian Ocean contains the lowest amount of oxygen in the world. This is as a result of the fast rate of evaporation in the area. This low amount of oxygen also contributes to the reason why the Indian Ocean has little sea life.
  • The Indian Ocean has the highest and lowest water salinity (salt content) levels ever recorded.
  • The Indian Ocean has the fewest trenches among the oceans of the world. The most important one is the Java Trench.
  • The Indian Ocean covers 1/5th of the earth’s surface and connects 4 continents, 18 countries in Asia, 16 countries in Africa, and 57 groups of islands.
  • The Indian Ocean has the largest number of underwater volcanoes that are no longer active. Most of these volcanoes are located in the Central Indian Basin near Seychelles and Reunion (France).
  • The Indian Ocean contains a lot of sea species that are in danger of dying out completely. Among these species are: Seals, Turtles and Sea Cows (also called Dudongs).
  • The average temperature of the Indian Ocean is around 22 degrees Celsius/ 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Some of the big coastal cities located along the Indian Ocean are: Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Australia, and Tanzania.
  • These are the main entry points to the Indian Ocean: Suez Canal in Egypt, The Strait of Malacca in Indonesia/Malaysia, The Strait of Hormuz in Iran-Oman, and Bab el Mandeb in Djibouti-Yemen. These entry points are also considered to be the world’s most important ports.
  • The Indian Ocean is divided into East and West regions by a 5,000 kilometers long mountain range called Ninety East Ridge.
  • Monsoons (heavy rain) occur regularly in the Indian Ocean. This leads to a lot of rainfall during summer and a lot of wind during winter.
  • The Indian Ocean is considered to be a ‘closed ocean,’ when compare to other oceans of the world because it is landlocked (surrounded by land) to its north by Asia.
  • In 2004, one of the most disastrous natural incidents in the world took place in the Indian Ocean. An underwater earthquake created a tsunami that killed about 200,000 people, especially in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India. A tsunami is an abnormal sea wave that can cause terrible damage when it hits a coastline.
  • Every year the Indian Ocean experiences oil pollution from oil spills and ships. These are the most polluted areas in the Indian Ocean: The Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea.
  • The smaller (marginal) seas that can be found in the Indian Ocean are: Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Laccadive Sea, and Red Sea.
  • Some of the few large rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean include: Indus River, Jubba River, Zambezi River, Shattal-Arabi River, Godavari River, Irrawaddy River, Ganges River, and Brahmaputra River.
  • The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes that connect the Middle East, Africa, East Africa, and Europe.
  • These are the island nations that can be found in the Indian Ocean: Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, Reunion (France), and Comoros.

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QUESTIONS

1. The Indian Ocean is the what largest ocean out of Earth’s five oceans.

2. What is the maximum width of the Indian Ocean?

3. Write out the names of three large rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean.

4. What is the average temperature of the Indian Ocean?

5. The Indian Ocean was earlier known as the?

6. What is the name of the long mountain range that divides the Indian Ocean into East and West regions?

7. Write out the names of three big coastal cities located along the Indian Ocean.