Did you know that around 50-80% of life on Earth is found in the oceans (1)? Oceans cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface. They form the basis of life and produce around 50% of the oxygen required by our planet. Oceans also control climate conditions by absorbing 30% of the carbon dioxide produced on Earth.
Earth has only one huge global ocean, but oceanographers have divided it into five major oceans. Around 80% of these huge water bodies remain unexplored, and only 7% of them are identified as marine protected areas (2) (3) (4).
Read the post to know some important and interesting ocean facts for kids.
50 Facts About Oceans for Kids
- The Arctic Ocean gets its name from an ancient Greek word arktos, which means bear.
- It is the smallest of all oceans, occupying an area of 6.1 million square miles, 3% of the Earth’s surface.
- The ocean is completely covered with ice for most of the year, and the temperature is always around -2 degrees centigrade.
- The Arctic ice is decreasing every year because of the rising ocean temperature due to global warming.
- Fridtjof Nansen was the first explorer to cross the Arctic Ocean in 1896.
- Six countries, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Greenland, and the US, have borders along the Arctic Ocean.
- The Arctic Ocean has the lowest salinity levels among all the five ocean basins because large amounts of freshwater flow into it, and the evaporation rate is low.
- The edges of the Arctic Ocean have more fish than anywhere else in the world.
- The Arctic Ocean has little plant life, except for microscopic organisms, phytoplankton. During summers, phytoplanktons carry out photosynthesis and grow quickly. These become food for zooplankton.
- Many unique animals, such as seals, polar bears, pacific walruses, and whales, are found in and around the Arctic Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean is between North and South America in the Western Hemisphere and Europe and Africa in the Eastern Hemisphere. It connects to the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Southern Ocean in the south. Some interesting facts about this ocean are (8) (9) (10):
- The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean globally and covers around 20% of the planet.
- The ocean is named after Atlas, a character from Greek mythology.
- The Atlantic is the youngest ocean which was formed 180 million years ago in the Jurassic Period.
- The ocean’s coastline is approximately 111,900 kilometers, and 52 nations have their shorelines alongside it.
- Greenland is the largest island in the Atlantic Ocean. The other large islands are Ireland, Cuba, and Great Britain.
- The ocean has the highest salinity among all the five ocean basins.
- A part of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean is called the Iceberg Alley because numerous icebergs are found here, making it a risky journey for the ships crossing this region.
- The coast of the Atlantic Ocean along South Africa has diamonds and other precious stones.
- The Atlantic Ocean is rich in marine life and contains many endangered species such as humpback whales, sea lions, green sea turtles, and many more.
- The famous Bermuda Triangle lies in the Atlantic Ocean. Many aircraft and ships have mysteriously disappeared here.
- The ocean basin spans over 9,978 kilometers which is six times the size of the US.
- The Java Trench is the deepest point in the Indian Ocean.
- The Indian Ocean is the warmest of all, inhibiting the growth of phytoplankton. This also limits the population of marine animals in the Indian ocean.
- In the northern part of the Indian Ocean, the oxygen level in water is extremely low below the surface layers.
- Approximately 7000 humpback whales travel every year from the poles to warmer water of the Indian Ocean near Madagascar to feed and calve during winters.
- The Indian Ocean has some of the world’s most important ports, such as Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata in India; Colombo in Sri Lanka; and many others.
- Around 17 million barrels of crude oil are transported each day from the Persian Gulf around the world through the maritime routes of this ocean.
- The Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and the Red Sea are the most polluted areas of the Indian Ocean due to oil spills.
- The Indian Ocean is considered a closed ocean because it is surrounded by land (Asia) on its northern side.
- The ocean has many extinct submarine volcanoes (volcanoes under the ocean surfaces), mainly found near Seychelles and Reunion.
The Pacific Ocean lies between Asia and Australia in the west and North and South America in the east. It has the Arctic in the north and the Antarctic in the south. Some interesting facts about this ocean are (13) (14) (15):
- The Pacific Ocean was named by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The name Pacific comes from the French word Pacifique that means peaceful.
- It is the largest and the deepest ocean in the world and covers one-third of the Earth’s surface.
- The Great Barrier Reef (largest coral reef system in the world) is located in this ocean. It has 2,900 reef ecosystems and is huge enough to be seen from space.
- The Pacific ocean has 25,000 islands, which is more than any other ocean.
- The Pacific Ocean is connected with the Indian Ocean by the Straits of Malacca and the Atlantic Ocean by the Straits of Magellan.
- According to scientists, the Pacific Ocean shrinks by 0.52 square kilometers every year because of plate tectonics, which shows about how large pieces of Earth’s surface move slowly.
- Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, is in the Pacific Ocean. It is 11.3 kilometers deep.
- The Ring of Fire, a 40,000-km stretch that faces many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is present at the rim of the Pacific ocean.
- The ocean region around the equator is less salty than the southeastern part because it receives high rainfall.
- Many small islands in the Pacific Ocean have disappeared underwater because the ocean water level has risen at 10mm per year over the last 20 years.
The Southern Ocean is in the southernmost part of the World (southern hemisphere) and was earlier called the Antarctic Ocean. This ocean encircles the continent of Antarctica. Some interesting facts about this ocean are (14) (16):
- The Southern Ocean is the fourth largest ocean in the world, with an area of 7.8 million square miles.
- The ocean experiences extremes of temperature because it is near the south pole. The temperature ranges from -2 degrees to 10 degrees centigrade.
- Most parts of the ocean are very deep, and the depth ranges from 13,000 to 16,000 feet.
- The Southern ocean absorbs more than 90% of the heat and nearly one-third’s of the carbon dioxide produced on Earth.
- The Southern ocean floor is rich in natural resources such as oil, natural gas, gold, and manganese.
- This ocean has huge icebergs due to extreme freezing temperatures. These icebergs pose a danger for the ships traveling through the ocean.
- Although the ocean experiences extreme temperature, it has the world’s most diverse marine animals and birds. The blue whale is the largest animal found here. Other large animals include leopard seals, Weddell seals, and many more. Some marine birds found here are albatross, king penguin, emperor penguin, and many others.
- The ocean has several ports and harbors, such as Mawson Station and Palmer station.
- The Southern Ocean connects all the ocean basins except the Arctic Ocean. The main link is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current that flows from the west to east in Antarctica and is the largest water current on Earth.
- Due to the Antarctic ozone hole, ultraviolet radiation has increased, damaging phytoplanktons and other marine life. The rise in temperature due to global warming is also melting the ice sheet of the ocean.
The oceans are the givers of life on the Earth, yet the irresponsible behavior of humans is destroying them rapidly. Actions such as deep-sea mining, dumping plastic waste, carbon emissions, oil spills, and destructive fishing have led to the depletion of marine life. However, conscious efforts, including banning plastic, sustainable fishing, and ocean habitat restoration, can help protect this natural treasure and, thus, maintain a well-balanced life on the Earth (17).
- Marine Life.
- The Ocean: Life and livelihoods.
- 10 need-to-know facts about life below water.
- All You Need To Know About the World’s 5 Oceans.
- Arctic Ocean.
- A View from the Top of the World.
- How big is the Atlantic Ocean?
- 50 Interesting Facts About The Atlantic Ocean.
- The Atlantic Ocean.
- The Indian Ocean.
- Indian Ocean.
- The Pacific Ocean.
- Ocean Geography.
- 50 Interesting Facts About The Pacific Ocean.
- An ocean like no other: The Southern Ocean’s ecological richness, significance for global climate.
- Humans Impact on the Ocean.