The world is home to five massive oceans, that account for around 96.5% of all of Earth’s water! Humans have explored only 5% of the world’s oceans, which makes you wonder what discoveries still await us. The names of these oceans are: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean. An acronym that can help remember these is P.A.I.A.S., in regards to their size from biggest to smallest!
Below are some fun and amazing facts about the oceans for kids.
- The Pacific is the largest of all the oceans of the world and covers more than 30% of the Earth’s surface.
- The word ‘Pacific’ comes from the Latin word ‘pacificus’ which means peaceful. While the meaning of The Pacific Ocean would translate to calm and peaceful, in reality the pulsating waves stir up quite the furore!
- The Pacific Ocean hosts a ring of fire! Almost 75% of the Earth’s volcanoes form a ring around the Pacific basin, giving rise to a unique loop responsible for most of the world’s major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
- Most of the islands of the world are found in the Pacific Ocean. There are about 25,000 islands and Indonesia alone comprises 17,508 islands while Japan consists of 3,000.
- The lowest point on Earth is in the Pacific Ocean, called Challenger Deep, and is located near Guam in the Philippine Sea at the end of the Mariana Trench. It has a depth of 10,920m or 35,827 feet.
- The Pacific Ocean has the largest coral reef called the Great Barrier Reef and is located off the Australian Coast.
- The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world and is located between the continents of America and Europe and Africa.
- The Atlantic Ocean covers 20% of the Earth’s surface and is half the size of the Pacific Ocean. It is known to be growing in size as it spreads along the Mid-Atlantic Coasts.
- The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the longest mountain range on Earth and spreads from Iceland to Antarctica beneath the Atlantic.
- Aquatic animals such as the Thresher Shark are found in the waters of the Atlantic.
- The Indian Ocean is located between Africa and Australasia. It is the largest breeding ground in the world for humpback whales.
- Coelacanth, a fish which was thought to be extinct is said to have been discovered in the Indian Ocean. It is found in the warm waters of the Comoro islands between Mozambique and Madagascar.
- The Indian Ocean is home to many endangered sea species such as turtles, seals, and dugongs (also called sea cows).
- The Northern Indian Ocean is the transport route for oil as it connects oil-rich countries from the Middle East with Asia. Cargo ships carrying 17 million barrels of crude oil are known to be transported from the Persian Gulf on its waters.
- The Southern Ocean is located in the Southern Hemisphere off Antarctica around the South Pole across the Antarctic circle.
- You can encounter icebergs in the Southern Ocean during any season, which can be several hundred feet high!
- The water temperature in the Southern Ocean generally falls below 0 degrees Celsius / 32 Fahrenheit. Even then, more than 50,000 tourists still visit the Southern Ocean every year!
- The Southern Ocean is home to Emperor Penguins and Wandering Albatrosses.
- The Arctic Ocean is located around the North Pole across the Arctic circle.
- In the Arctic Ocean’s waters can be found a jellyfish with the unique name of the ‘Lion’s Mane Jellyfish.’ It lives on plankton and fishes and grows up to 2.4m or 8 feet across.
- Some of the Arctic ground features are named after Nansen Basin and Mendeleev Ridge, who were early Arctic explorers.
- On the Arctic Region’s islands, permafrost can be found. Permafrost is essentially soil that is frozen for more than two years!
- One of the biggest ports of the Arctic Ocean is the Churchill in Canada where the number of polar bears outnumbers people during summer!
- The Arctic Region is home to the Northern Lights. It’s a mesmerising tourist attraction, that can be observed in the sky between November and April.
About 70% of the Oxygen we breathe is produced by the Oceans, and the Oceans have more remnants and artefacts of history than in all of the world’s museums combined!