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Facts About Oceans

a) The five oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface.

b) Pacific Ocean - The average depth of the Pacific Ocean is 15,215 feet. The deepest point, which is the deepest point of all oceans, is the Mariana Trench. This trench, located near Japan, goes to depths of 36,200 feet and is the lowest elevation on the surface of the Earth.

c) Atlantic Ocean - The bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is generally measured at 12,881 feet. The deepest point here is the Puerto Rico Trench at 28,231 feet. The Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest of the oceans, ranging from 33 parts per thousand to 37 parts per thousand.

d) Indian Ocean - The Indian Ocean sees average depths of 13,002 feet. Their deepest point is the Java Trench, which is 25,344 feet.

e) Southern Ocean - The average depths in the Southern Ocean greatly vary. On the low end, they are 13,100 feet and on the high end they are 16,400 feet deep. The deepest point is the southern end of the South Sandwich Trench, measuring 23,736 feet deep.

f) Arctic Ocean - The Arctic Ocean is so much more shallow than the other ones at average depths of only 3,953 feet. The deepest point is the Eurasian Basin, which is 17,881 feet deep.

g) The ocean with the greatest salt content is the Atlantic Ocean with between 3.3 and 3.7% salinity. The Pacific Ocean has 3.2 to 3.4% salinity. The Indian Ocean salinity ranges from 3.2 to 3.7%. The Arctic Ocean is the least salty because polar oceans are usually less salty than others because of low evaporation, freshwater from rivers, and little connection to other oceans.

1) There are three theories of why the oceans appear blue:

a) The ocean reflects the sky which is blue.

a) Plant and animal life and particles in the water help reflect the color blue.

a) The observer’s eye absorbs only a minimal amount of scattered blue wavelengths, and this is what is reflected back to the eye.

An example of an ocean is the Atlantic.

An example of an ocean is a great amount of food at a buffet.

The surface of the planet is approximately 71% water and contains (5) five oceans, including the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern.Their borders are indicated on the world image (left) in varied shades of blue. For many years only (4) four oceans were officially recognized, and then in the spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization established the Southern Ocean, and determined its limits. Those limits include all water below 60 degrees south, and some of it, like the Arctic Ocean, is frozen.

Ocean By Size:

Pacific (155,557,000 sq km) larger map

Atlantic (76,762,000 sq km) larger map

Indian (68,556,000 sq km) larger map

Southern (20,327,000 sq km) larger map

Arctic (14,056,000 sq km) larger map

Greatest Depths:

Mariana Trench, Pacific 35,827 ft

Puerto Rico Trench, Atlantic 30,246 ft

Java Trench, Indian 24,460 ft

Arctic Basin, Arctic 18,456 ft

Southern Ocean, 23,737 ft

Planet Earth Details

Surface Area of the Planet (510,066,000 sq km)

Land Area on the Planet (148,647,000 sq km) 29.1%

Ocean Area (335,258,000 sq km)

Total Water Area (361,419,000 sq km) 70.9%

Type of Water (97% salt), (3% fresh)