oceans of the world

Oceans of the World

How Many Oceans of the World Are There?

Because all the oceans of the world are joined together there’s really only one ocean. By international agreement it was divided into four oceans; the Atlantic ocean, Pacific ocean, Indian ocean and the Arctic ocean. In 2000 a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean (also known as the Antarctic Ocean or the Austral Ocean), made up of the icy waters of the circumpolar sea around Antarctica, was recognized by most (but not all) members of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). ADDucation is going with the flow and listing all five oceans of the world.

  • This list of oceans and seas was compiled by A C, last updated Nov 26, 2022 @ 2:48 am.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort the 5 oceans of the world largest to smallest. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen to show as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table of oceans of the world.

5 Oceans of the world Pacific Ocean Atlantic Ocean Indian Ocean Southern Ocean / Antarctic Ocean Arctic Ocean
Statistics Covers 28% of the Earth and contains over 50% of all the water on the planet. Named in 1520 by explorer Ferdinand Magellan because of its calmness. So big all the world’s continents would fit in it. Covers approx 20% of the water on the Earth’s surface.
Includes seas like the Baltic, Caribbean Sea, Black Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean and North Sea.
Covers approx 20% of the water on the Earth’s surface. Named more after the East Indies than India. 4th largest, and only an ocean since 2000 when International Hydrographic Organization created it taking away from Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The artic ocean is the smallest ocean covered by ice for most of the year, though the 10 feet (3 m) thick icepacks are mostly melting in summer because of global warming.
Deepest part of ocean “Vitiaz Deep” (formerly Challenger Deep) in the Mariana Trench. More than a mile (1.6 km) deeper than Mount Everest is high. Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench. Indian Java Trench (or Sunda Double Trench). South Sandwich Trench. Eurasian Basin.
Approx area
(sq mi)
64,000,000 square miles 41,000,000 square miles 28,000,000 square miles 7,800,000 square miles 5,400,000 square miles
Approx area
166,240,000 km2 80,000,000 km2 74,900,000 km2 20,300,000 km2 14,000,000 km2
Deepest point (feet) 36,000 28,500 24,500 23,500 18,000
Deepest point (meters) 11,000 8,600 7,500 7,000 5,500
Average depth (feet) 13,750 12,250 12,750 14,500 3,400
Average depth (meters) 4,190 3,870 3,885 4,500 1,040
Largest Marginal Seas
  • Philippine Sea (2,000,000 square miles)
  • Coral Sea (1,850,000 square miles)
  • South China Sea (1,400,000 square miles)
  • Bering Sea (770,000 square miles)
  • East China Sea (485,000 square miles)
  • Yellow Sea (150,000 square miles)
  • Celebes Sea (110,000 square miles)
  • Caribbean Sea (1,065,000 square miles)
  • Mediterranean Sea (970,000 square miles)
  • Gulf of Mexico (600.000 square miles)
  • Norwegian Sea (534,000 square miles)
  • Hudson Bay (470,000 square miles)
  • North Sea (220,000 square miles)
  • Arabian Sea (1,490,000 square miles)
  • Bay of Bengal (839,000 square miles)
  • Andaman Sea (232,000 square miles)
  • Red Sea (190,000 square miles)
  • Java Sea (120,000 square miles)
  • Persian Gulf (97,000 square miles)
  • Scotia Sea (347,000 square miles)
  • Barents Sea (540,000 square miles)
  • Greenland Sea (465,000 square miles)
  • East Siberian Sea (381,000 square miles)
  • Kara Sea (358,000 square miles
  • Laptev Sea (270,000 square miles)
  • Baffin Bay (266,000 square miles)
  • Chukchi Sea (240,000 square miles)

See also: Layers of the Ocean | Lakes in the World

Ocean Factoids

Oceans currently cover around 71% of the Earth’s surface. But this percentage may change. Recently, a massive reservoir of water three times the volume of all the “surface” oceans was discovered way below the Earth’s surface. This may help explain where all the water came from as many geologists previously thought water arrived in comets hitting our planet.

Sadly the oceans are increasingly drowning in plastic with an estimated 120,000 pieces of plastic per square mile (46,000 per square kilometer) killing millions of marine birds, mammals and fish every year.

ADDucation Lists Related to Oceans of the World:

2 responses to “Oceans of the World”

  1. Joe says:

    Hi Alison, thanks for your comment, the Atlantic ocean is correctly labelled. I’m guessing you meant the “Antarctic Ocean”? As we mentioned in the intro it’s now more commonly referred to as the Southern Ocean so we’ve updated the graphic.

  2. Alison says:

    the Atlantic ocean is actually called the southern ocean

Share via Social Media or Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *