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Our Oceans. Monday 16, 2006. What is an “Ocean”.

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Our oceans

Our Oceans

Monday 16, 2006

What is an ocean
What is an “Ocean”

  • Large, continuous body of salt water. Ocean covers nearly 71% of the Earth's surface and is divided into major oceans and smaller seas. The three principal oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian, are largely delimited by land and submarine topographic boundaries. All are connected to what is sometimes called the Southern Ocean, the waters encircling Antarctica. Important marginal seas, primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, are partially enclosed by landmasses or island arcs. The largest are the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, Caribbean and adjacent waters, Mediterranean, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Yellow and China Seas, and Sea of Japan.

Ocean information



Have you ever been to the ocean?  Have you collected tiny shells that washed up on the endless shore?  Have you admired the sparkling blue waves and vast expanse of water that seems to go on forever?   

Have you ever wondered how big the ocean is
Have you ever wondered how big the ocean is?

  • The four oceans, the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Arctic, cover about 71% of the Earth’s surface. 

  • The area of all the oceans put together is approximately 140 million square miles, compared to only about 6 million square miles for the entire United States! 

  • The average depth of the ocean is 12,200 feet. 

  • It would take over 2,000 adults standing on each other’s shoulders to stretch from the ocean floor to the surface. 

  • The deepest point in the ocean is 36,198 feet, in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific.  That’s the length of 120 football fields.  The ocean is huge!

You’ve probably seen plenty of fish, whales, dolphins, lobsters, crabs, sharks, and seals, but did you know…

  • There are around 170,000 different animal species in the ocean

  • The largest known animal ever to live on Earth is the blue whale, which can reach a length of over 100 feet and weigh up to 200 tons

More fun facts
More Fun Facts lobsters, crabs, sharks, and seals, but did you know…

  • The Pacific Ocean is, by far, the largest ocean. Its surface area covers 64 million square miles or approximately one-third of Earth's surface. It is bigger than all of Earth's continents put together.

  • The deepest place in the ocean is the Mariana Trench. At a depth of 7 miles, it's 6 times deeper than the Grand Canyon. That's deeper than Mt. Everest is tall!

  • The world's longest mountain chain, the mid-ocean ridge, is in the ocean. It is four times longer than the Andes, the Rockies, and the Himalayas combined!

Ocean life
Ocean Life lobsters, crabs, sharks, and seals, but did you know…

  • Here is a humpback whale jumping out of the water. Actually, this animal is feeding and has just taken a mouthful of fish, probably herring in southeast Alaska.

  • Here is a Great White Shark. Sharks have the most powerful jaws on the planet.  Unlike most animals' jaws, both the sharks' upper and lower jaws move.

  • Here is a jellyfish. Jellyfish are marine invertebrates. The body of an adult jellyfish is composed of a bell-shaped, jellylike substance enclosing its internal structure, from which the creature's tentacles suspend.

Relationship of the lobsters, crabs, sharks, and seals, but did you know…

Ocean and the Atmosphere

  • The atmosphere affects the oceans and is in turn influenced by them. The action of winds blowing over the ocean surface creates waves and the great current systems of the oceans. When winds are strong enough to produce spray and whitecaps, tiny droplets of ocean water are thrown up into the atmosphere where some evaporate, leaving microscopic grains of salt buoyed by the turbulence of the air. These tiny particles may become nuclei for the condensation of water vapor to form fogs and clouds.