Ocean Facts

The oceans are vast and wide and are super cool fun to have a dip in too, or even go diving and snorkeling.

But they are so much more than that.

Read on for some awesomely interesting facts about the oceans of the world.

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Ocean Facts for Kids

  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest one.
  • 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans?
  • Most of the rain comes from ocean evaporation.
  • The Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean.
  • Benoît Lecomte was the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998
  • The blue whale is the largest animal in the ocean.
  • Only about 5% of the Earth’s oceans have been explored thus far.

How Many Oceans in the World

There are four ocean basins: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. 

The Southern Ocean is now considered the fifth (Ocean) basin by most countries.

The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian are the most commonly known.

Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is a large body of water located in northern hemisphere waters between North America and Europe, around Greenland and several islands. 

It’s name comes from the Greek word ‘arctos’, which means bear.

It is one of the smallest oceans on earth and covers less than 3% of the globe’s surface spanning 6.1 million square miles. Sea ice covers vast stretches of ocean.

At an average depth of about 1,038m/3,406ft, it’s deep enough to compete with the Southern Ocean.

The Arctic can have icebergs and ice packs at any time, but the surface of the ocean is mostly covered with ice between June and October. In spring and summer, the ice packs melt, and they refreeze in autumn and winter.

Arctic Ocean temperatures are rising faster with climate change.

Numerous fish, mammals, and birds live in the Arctic Ocean. 

Arctic Ocean animals have adapted to life in open water and on ice as a result of the ice coverage. North of Alaska, the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are sometimes called America’s ‘Polar Bear Seas.’

Polar bears inhabit these waters, thereby making them significant habitats. Sea creatures like the endangered bowhead whale, walrus, seals, and countless birds thrive here. 

These marine animals, especially the bowhead whale, are essential to the subsistence culture.

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean borders North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. It is the second-largest ocean in the world.

About 29% of the world’s water surface area is covered by the Atlantic Ocean. It covers 4,110,000 square miles. 

In addition to being rich in fish, the Atlantic Ocean has huge natural gas and oil deposits.

There are many islands in the Atlantic Ocean, including:

The Bahamas – There are 700 tropical islands in the Bahamas, but only about 30 are inhabited. 

Canary Islands (Spain) – The Canaries are a group of islands off the coast of Morocco. People who live there speak Spanish. There are seven main islands.

Azores (Portugal) – There are nine volcanic islands in the Azores archipelago, located about 1,500 km (930 mi) west of Lisbon.

Greenland – It lies north and south of the Arctic Circle. On its eastern shore, it is connected to North America by a submarine ridge. Iceland is Greenland’s closest European neighbor. Denmark technically has control over the country, but it has its own government.

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean borders Africa, Australasia, and the Southern Ocean.

Approximately 5.5 times the size of the USA, the Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world and covers 20% of the Earth’s surface.

The ocean is the widest between western Australia and eastern Africa: 1,000km.

Warmer water tends to be found nearer the equator. Coastal regions near the equator experience temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius/82 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

In most areas of the Indian Ocean, the temperature makes it difficult for phytoplankton to grow, which is essential for life in the ocean. 

The Indian Ocean has a small number of marine animal species, compared to the rest of the world’s oceans.

About 40% of the world’s oil comes from the Indian Ocean.

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean on and covers over 30% of the planet. 

In the north, the Arctic Ocean, and in the south, the Southern Ocean, and it is bordered by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. The Equator separates the Pacific Ocean into the North Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.

In addition to being the largest ocean, the Pacific has the deepest trenches as well. 

It has an average depth of 3,800 metres/12,467 ft. 

Located to the west of the Philippines and north of New Guinea, the Challenger Deep in the Marina Trench is the deepest point on Earth at 10,920 m/35,827 ft. deep.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch – An area as big as Texas lies between Hawaii and California and has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

The patch contains 94 percent microplastics, which are often invisible to the naked eye. The bulk of the plastic found in the patch is abandoned fishing gear.

Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure at 2,600km. It can be seen from the Moon!

You’ll find so many different animals living in the ocean like Penguins, Dugong, killer whale, Humpback whale, seals, and so many others

Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean is the southern hemisphere. In fact, it surrounds Antarctica. 

Only 6% of the earth’s surface is covered by the Southern Ocean.

Any time of the year, there are icebergs in the Southern Ocean, but from May to October, strong winds make crossing even more dangerous.

Fragments of iceberg drift in the water. They can reach several hundred meters in height. During summer, icebreaker ships are often needed to accompany ships passing through Antarctica.

Animal Species in the Ocean

Because of its size, the ocean holds a lot of living creatures. There are currently over 225,000 species living in the ocean. Some experts believe that there are 25 million more unstudied!

A variety of animals can be found in the ocean. 

Turtles, Shrimp, crabs, and lobsters can be found. You’ll also find Dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, and walruses.

Just because something lives in the water doesn’t mean it’s a fish.

What you need to know about Oceans

  • Have you been in the sea and all of a sudden the water is way down the beach and next thing it’s creeping up higher? Well, this is called the tides and they are caused by the Earth rotating while the Moon and Sun’s gravitational pull does this to the water. Pretty interesting huh?
  • We already know of hundreds of thousands of species in the oceans, but scientists think that there are still millions to be discovered. This is because we’ve only explored 5% of the oceans around us.
  • The largest and deepest ocean on Earth is the Pacific Ocean. Unbelievably this ocean alone covers about 30% of the Earth’s surface.
  • The Pacific Ocean’s name means ‘peaceful sea’. Cool, that’s the place to go swimming and diving then!
  • The Mariana Trench, in the western Pacific Ocean, is the deepest known area of the Earth’s oceans. Its deepest point is about 11km.
  • The Pacific Ocean has about 25,000 different islands. That’s way more than any other ocean in the world.
  • The Pacific Ocean is surrounded by what’s called the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’. This is because there are heaps of active volcanoes. Hmmm, that’s not the place to visit.
  • The second-largest ocean on Earth is the Atlantic Ocean; it covers over 21% of the Earth’s surface.
  • Amelia Earhart was the first female to fly all alone across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Wow, what a journey!
  • The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean on Earth; it covers about 14% of the Earth’s surface.
  • During winter the Arctic Ocean is almost completely covered in sea ice.

Fun Interesting Facts

Wow, this is quite something. If you could take all the salt out of the sea and spread it across the Earth, you would have a 152m layer of salt covering everything. That is a whole heap of salt!

  • The deeper you go into the oceans, the more things change. Plants can grow up to a depth of 107m, the colors of fish change; near the surface, they can be blue, green, or violet, but as you go deeper then they are silver or very light-colored. When fish are as low down as 3,000m they can even have their own lights…awesome!
  • The Dead Sea is seriously salty, as it’s surrounded by desert. The extreme heat makes the seawater evaporate back into the atmosphere, which means there’s a huge amount of salt leftover. Nothing can survive here. If you go into the Dead Sea, you will literally just float. As there is so much salt it creates a large upward force. So go and have a float on the Dead Sea and see if you can go down and dive.
  • Have you heard of knots? Well, this is a measure of the speed at sea. 1 knot equals 1.85km per hour. Sailors use this measurement.

Have you ever put a seashell to your ear and heard the sound of the ocean. Well, it’s actually not the sound of the ocean, sorry, but it’s actually the sound of your blood roaring through the veins in your ears.

The longest mountain range in the world is actually underwater. How weird! It is 56,000km long. Whoa! It’s called the Mid-Oceanic Ridge and is a mountain chain that runs along the center of the ocean basins.

  • About 70% of the oxygen we breathe in comes from the oceans! Wow.
  • The sea is home to the world’s largest living structure which is the Great
  • Barrier Reef. It is about 2,600 km long and you can even check it out from the moon.

So, there’s some pretty amazing stuff on the world’s oceans! Do you have any super awesome facts to share with us? We would love to hear them!