Fun Ocean Facts
Check out these fun ocean facts and learn more about the regions of water that cover much of the Earth’s Surface.
- Around 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans.
- Ocean tides are caused by the Earth rotating while the Moon and Sun’s gravitational pull acts on ocean water.
- While there are hundreds of thousands of known marine life forms, there are many that are yet to be discovered.
- Oceans are frequently used as a means of transport.
- The largest ocean on Earth is the Pacific Ocean, it covers around 30% of the Earth’s surface.
- The Pacific Ocean’s name has an original meaning of ‘peaceful sea’.
- The Pacific Ocean is surrounded by the Pacific Ring of Fire, a large number of active volcanoes.
- The second largest ocean on Earth is the Atlantic Ocean, it covers over 21% of the Earth’s surface.
- The Atlantic Ocean’s name refers to Atlas of Greek mythology.
- The third largest ocean on Earth is the Indian Ocean, it covers around 14% of the Earth’s surface.
- During winter the Arctic Ocean is almost completely covered in sea ice.
- While some disagree on whether it is an ocean or just part of larger oceans, the Southern Ocean includes the area of water that encircles Antarctica.
The ocean can extend in some places down to depths of several miles, or kilometers. However, most of the action takes place in the first couple hundred feet, or meters. Below this depth it is too dark, cold and murky for much to happen. Across the entire planet, the Earth’s oceans are believed to be basically the same below the first couple hundred feet, or meters.
Above this depth, where sunlight reaches, the traits found change dramatically from one location to another. Characteristics such as temperature, turbulence, and salinity (the amount of salt) can be very different from location to location,
The ocean contains many different minerals found across the surface of the Earth, all dissolved into the wáter.
By far, the most common mineral found dissolved in sea water is salt.
The amount of salt dissolved in the waters of the Earth’s oceans, or the salinity of the oceans, can vary greatly from location to location. This salinity is dependent on two important factors. Firstly, the amount of evaporation taking place; and secondly, the amount of fresh water being added.
As water evaporates, it leaves the salts and other minerals behind. This causes the water left behind to be more salty. As fresh water is added, either via rivers or via rainfall, the salinity of the ocean in a particular location is decreased.