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.
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|Oceans of the world||Pacific Ocean||Atlantic Ocean||Indian Ocean||Southern (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.||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.|
|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|
|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||
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.
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- This list of oceans and seas was compiled by A C, last updated 19 Dec 2019.
- We strive for accuracy but if you spot any errors or have anything to improve our chart of oceans of the world, please add your comments below…