Oceans of the World

The oceans of the world comprise a huge body of saline water, covering approximately 71% of the Earth’s ocean surface water. This body of water is divided into a number of distinct oceans, including, based from greatest to smallest surface area, the Pacific ocean, the Atlantic ocean, the Indian ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the Arctic ocean. All together, the oceans of the world comprise an area of about 361 million square km (139 million square miles) and its volume comprises about 1.3 million cubic km (310 million cubic miles). Although, there are five world oceans, there are not boundaries or physical divisions between them, making the world’s oceans one big and interconnected body of water. The oceans play a crucial role in the Earth’s temperature and weather, as they help distribute the radiation energy captured from the Sun throughout the planet.

Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of all the oceans in the world, extending from the Arctic Ocean, in the north, to the Antarctic Ocean in the south. The Pacific Ocean is flanked by Asia and Australia in the west and the American continent in the east. This ocean is almost as big as all the other oceans combined, with a surface area of 165 million km2 (63 million miles2), encompassing an area of approximately one third of the Earth’s surface. Its average depth is of about 4500 meters (14764 ft.), and its deepest point is the Challenger deep located in the Mariana Trench and reaching 10,910 meters (35,794 ft.) below sea level. The Pacific Ocean is bordered by approximately 84,000 miles of sea shore, with to west coasts of Canada, the U.S. and South America in the East, and the coasts of Australia and many territories of Asia in the West.

Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world. The Atlantic Ocean extends along an S-shaped basin including Europe and Africa in the east, and the American continent in the west. It connects to the Arctic Ocean through the Denmark Strait and the Norwegian, Barents and Greenland seas, in the north. In the south, it merges with the Pacific and Indian oceans through the Drake Passage and the Cape Agulhas, after which it reaches its southern end in the Antarctic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean extends along an area of approximately 82 million km2 (31 million miles2), covering approximately 22% of the Earth’s surface area. Its average depth is of about 3,925 meters (12,880 ft.), with its greatest depth at the Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rio Trench. The Atlantic Ocean is one of the busiest oceans in the world, with many ships crossing it on a regular basis.

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world, encircled by India in the north, Africa on the west, the archipelago of Indonesia and Australia in the east and the Antarctic Ocean in the south. The Suez Canal, which is a man-made structure, connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The Indian Ocean comprises an area of about 73,500.000 square km (28,345,000 square miles). The Pacific’s ocean average depth is of approximately 3,890 meters (12,762 ft.), with its deepest point in the Diamantina Deep located in the Java Trench, reaching 8046.7 meters (26,400 ft.) below sea level. The Indian Ocean offers important sea routes for commercial ships and connects important ports in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the American continent.

Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, is the fourth largest ocean in the world, extending over an area of approximately 20,300,000 square km (7,848,000 square miles). The Antarctic Ocean is located at 60° south latitude and encircles the Antarctic continent. It is bounded by the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans in the north and the landmass of the Antarctic continent, which it encircles, at the very south. Its average depth is of about 4450 meters (14,600 ft.), with its deepest point, reaching 7232 meters (23,730 ft.) below sea level. Before 2000, there were only four known major oceans; however, in 2000, an international panel of several nations defined its existence. Despite the definition of the boundaries of this new ocean, some nations, including England and Australia, still prefer to define their own boundaries regarding the Southern Ocean.

Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of all the oceans of the world, covering an area of about 14,000,000 square km (5,427,000 square miles). It is totally encircled by Eurasia, Greenland and North America. The Arctic Ocean is partially covered by ice during the year and totally covered by it during the winter season. The average depth is of approximately 1,000 meters (3,300 ft.), making it the shallowest of all the oceans of the world, with its deepest point located at the Eurasian Basin, reaching 5450 meters (17,880 ft.) below sea level. The Arctic Ocean is connected to the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait and to the Atlantic Ocean by the Labrador and the Greenland seas.

The oceans of the planet play an important role in the planet’s weather and temperature. The oceans maintain the Earth’s temperature by absorbing the radiation energy from the Sun. the never ending movement of the world’s ocean currents distribute these energy throughout the planet, producing milder seasonal climates throughout the year. It is believed that life in the oceans evolved 3 million years before life on land. According to enchantedlearning.com, the ocean includes smaller bodies of water known as seas, which are partly enclosed by land. Some of the largest seas include the Caribbean Sea, the China Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.