55 Interesting Facts About Oceans

  1. The five oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic) cover almost 71% of the earth’s surface.
  2. However, this division of 5 oceans is not universally accepted. The concepts of 1, 3, or 4 oceans are also there according to different oceanic divisions.
  3. Oceans produce 50 to 80% of the oxygen on earth. Oceanic plankton - composed of algae, bacteria, and floating plants - are the top producers of this oxygen. A tiny bacteria species produces more oxygen than the combined production of all the tropical rainforests on land. (Source)
  4. Despite scientific advancement, more than 80% of the ocean is unexplored. Less than 10% of the global ocean has been mapped so far using modern sonar technology. (Source)
  5. The exact number of species in oceans is unknown due to vast size and other difficulties. More than 80% of oceans are unexplored, while 91% of their species are unclassified. (Source)
  6. There are 230,000 known species in oceans. According to estimates, the total number of species inside the oceans could be more than two million. (Source)
  7. A few areas in the ocean are known as “dead zones” due to less oxygen. Most marine life either dies or swims away from these areas. They are natural as well as man-made as a result of nutrient pollution. These zones are predominantly present in coastal regions around the globe. (Source)
  8. Ocean heatwaves are harmful to ocean creatures. It happens when the temperature inside the sea or ocean gets extraordinarily hot for five consecutive days. According to recent research, the number of “marine heatwave days” has increased by 54% since the 1920s. These heat waves are now lasting 17% longer while their frequency has also increased than before. It is particularly affecting coral reefs. (Source)
  9. The Pacific Ocean is the largest among oceans. It comprises around 46% area and 50% volume of all the oceans.
  10. The average depth of the Pacific Ocean is almost 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). It is also the deepest average depth of all the oceans.
  11. Point Nemo in the Pacific Ocean is the farthest place from land. The nearest land area from this point is 2,688 km away. (Source)
  12. The Pacific Ocean separates Asia and Australia (continent) from the Americas (North and South America).
  13. Astronomers believe the ocean formed 3.9 billion years ago through the bombardment of icy comets and asteroids. However, recent research shows the oceans came into being through water extraction from the earth’s rocks. (Source)
  14. Life in the ocean started 3.5 billion years ago. The complex multi-celled organisms developed around 1.2 billion years ago. (Source)
  15. There are lakes and rivers in a few places beneath the ocean’s surface. The length of these undersea water bodies is from a few feet to several miles. Some animals, like underwater beach bums and mussels, live in these lakes and rivers. (Source)
  16. Most of the sunlight in the ocean reaches up to 200 meters. This area is known as the “sunlight zone.” A small amount of this light penetrates between 200 and 1,000 meters, known as the “twilight zone.” There is complete darkness beyond that zone. (Source)
  17. The El Nino (warm) and La Nina (cold) patterns of the Pacific Ocean affect the temperature in different parts of the earth. (Source)
  18. Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean is the deepest part of all the oceans in the world. Its maximum-known depth is around 11,000 meters, and this point is known as Challenger Deep. Research shows that microbes (chiefly bacteria) are present in this deepest place on the earth’s surface. (Source)
    Map of Mariana Trench and its nearby area
    Pollution is present even in oceans' deepest point Mariana Trench

  19. Human rubbish is present in every part of the ocean, including the deepest-known point. Man-made plastics (synthetic fibers and textiles) have been found in the stomachs and muscles of animals living in the Mariana Trench. (Source
  20. The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean, which separates the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa from the Americas.
  21. The first undersea telegraph cable was laid in the Atlantic Ocean in 1858 to link North America and Europe. The initial undersea telephone and internet cables started working in 1956 and 1988, respectively. Currently, nearly 380 undersea cables are operating around the globe and play a vital role in running the internet around the world. (Source)
  22. Bobbit worm (also known as a sand striker) is present in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This marine animal buries its body on the ocean floor and attacks its prey with its powerful jaws when it reaches above the floor. Its sharp teeth can easily cut the prey into two, even if it is bigger than the worm. (Source)
  23. There are around 20 million tons of gold in the oceans. But it is either diluted or inside a rock and difficult to be extracted. (Source)
  24. The Indian Ocean separates the continents of Africa and Australia. It is the third-largest after the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  25. The Red Sea is the inlet of the Indian Ocean, which establishes a barrier between Asia and Africa.
  26. The Indian Ocean is the warmest among oceans, primarily due to its location in the tropics. Its surface temperature is between 22 and 28 C. (Source)
  27. Ocean rip current works closer to shore and moves away from the shoreline. Sometimes, it can reach a speed of 8 feet per second, which makes it dangerous for swimmers.
  28. Every year, more than 14 million tons of plastic reach the oceans. The ocean current can transport plastic around the globe. Retrieving plastic from the ocean is more intricate than from rivers and seas.
  29. The Southern or Antarctic Ocean is around Antarctica. Its unique climate and marine life distinguish it from other oceans.
  30. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest among oceans. It covers only 4.3% area of all the oceans on earth. It is also the shallowest ocean, with an average depth of 1,205 miles.
  31. Most of the rainfall on earth (86%) is due to evaporation from oceanic water, while nearly 78% of the precipitation also occurs over oceans.
  32. Blue Whale is the largest animal in the ocean. It is around 20 times more massive and four times larger than the biggest animal on land (the African Bush Elephant). Oceans also contain other animals larger than land animals.
  33. The world’s highest underwater mountain, Monte Pico, is in the Azores Islands (Portugal). It has an altitude of 20,000 feet below the sea and 7,711 feet above its surface. (Source)
  34. The mid-ocean ridge is the longest mountain range on earth. It covers an area of 40,389 miles, while 90% of this chain is under the ocean around the globe. It also forms the earth’s largest volcanic feature. (Source)
  35. There are hundreds or thousands of volcanoes beneath oceans. Around 67% of volcanic activity on earth happens in these volcanoes. However, most of them remain unnoticed due to their presence in the deep sea. (Source)
  36. Internal waves are waves within the ocean. These occur due to gravity from the tidal force, wind, or a ship. Internal waves are a lot slower than surface waves. (Source)
    Internal waves around Trinidad
    Internal waves are slower than surface waves

  37. Hydrothermal vents in oceans, discovered in 1977, are hot springs produced by underwater volcanoes. Several organisms exclusively live around these vents. Their temperature can reach more than 700 F (340 C). However, the water in these hot springs does not boil due to high pressure. (Source)
  38. There are several underwater museums in the world. The largest is the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA) in Mexico. (Source)
  39. 83 countries in the world occupy more oceans than land. Out of these, 54 countries have more than 80% of their territory in the ocean. (Source)
  40. In 1992, 28,000 plastic ducks fell into the sea due to an accident in their shipping container. These bath toys floated for the next two decades in various parts of the ocean. Their journey provided information about ocean currents and plastic pollution. (Source)
  41. The pressure of water increases when a body moves deep into the ocean. The pressure increases by one atmosphere for every 33 feet inside the ocean. Animals living in these great depths can withstand this pressure due to their unique body structure. (Source)
  42. Freshwater freezes at 32 F (0 C). Comparatively, the ocean water freezes at 28.4 F (-1.9 C) due to salt. This ice contains a minute amount of salt and is suitable for drinking. More than 15% of the ocean is under ice. (Source)
  43. Earthquakes in oceans cause very long waves known as tsunamis. Their speed in the deep ocean can reach up to 500 mph, with a wavelength of hundreds of miles.
  44. In January 1966, an American B-52 bomber collided with a jet tanker over a Mediterranean coast. The bomber dropped three hydrogen bombs on land and one on the sea. Authorities recovered the fourth bomb from the sea after nearly three months. (Source)
  45. The surface of the ocean is different around the globe. The change in ocean level is due to variations in temperature, gravity, winds, currents, discharge from rivers, and other factors.
  46. The ocean remains in constant motion due to differences in temperature and salinity. This constantly moving system is known as the global ocean conveyor belt. This movement starts from the Norwegian Sea and completes in Antarctica. (Source)
  47. According to estimates, melting ice from glaciers and ice caps can raise the sea level by 70 meters (230 feet). It will result in the drowning of every coastal city in the world. (Source)
  48. Oceans are absorbing more heat from the sun due to the greenhouse effect. The increase in sea surface temperatures develops stronger storms in the tropics and raises sea levels.
  49. Oceans contain 99% of habitable space on earth. Moreover, about 33% of the human population lives within 100 km of the oceanic coast. The ocean also absorbs 50% of CO2 released by fossil fuels. (Source)
  50. Icebergs are present in the Arctic, Southern, and North Atlantic oceans. Ice has 90% of water’s density. Therefore, 90% of iceberg is under the sea.
  51. Sound travels nearly four times faster underwater (1500 meters/second) than in the air (340 meters/second). Additionally, sound moves faster in warm water than in cold water.
  52. The average depth of oceans around the globe is around 3,688 m (12,100 ft.). Satellite measurements played a vital role in finding ocean depths. 
  53. Human lungs begin to contract at a depth of 100 feet underwater. Professional divers do not go beyond 400 feet under the ocean.
  54. Oceans and seas contain nearly 97% of all water on earth. The volume of water in oceans is more than 1.3 billion cubic miles.
  55. The records for deepest dives are 1,082 ft. (332 m) in scuba dive, 6.8 miles (Mariana trench) in vessel dive, and 253 meters in free dive.


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