The world can boast for five major oceans separated by the land masses that are the continents. Although they may have continents in between them, the oceans are largely interconnected. These bodies of water that make up a little more than 70%of the mass of the earth are mostly salt water with limited fresh water. In this article we take a look at the top five oceans in the world.
The Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean covering an area of 163.8 square miles. It is found between the continents of North America and South America to the East and, Australia and Asia to the west. This ocean that runs in a north south direction from the Arctic to the Antarctic Ocean is separated at the equator into a North and a South Pacific sections. This ocean also happens to be home to the deepest area on earth; the challenger deep. According to history, the name Pacific was given by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
The Atlantic Ocean
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Closely following the Pacific Ocean in size is the Atlantic Ocean having a mass area of 106 million square miles. This ocean like the Pacific also runs north to south from the Arctic to the Antarctic. It is made up of smaller seas like the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. It is bounded the west by the North and South American continents and to the East by Europe and Africa. It is home to the largest known toothed animal, the sperm whale. It is divided by the equator into the North and the South Atlantic Oceans. It is well known for its underwater rift structures such as the Mid Atlantic ridge.
The Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean with an area of approximately 70 million square miles is located in the area east of Africa. To the north the ocean is capped by the Asian continent and to the west by Australia. To the south, it is bordered by the Antarctica also called the southern Ocean. It is dotted by many Island states such as Madagascar, Seychelles and Maldives. Among the top oceans in the world, this is one of the youngest and it is filled with numerous submarine ridges.
The Arctic Ocean
The Arctic ocean of area approximately 5.4 million square miles is located in the North Pole. This ocean that some argue is an extension of the Atlantic Ocean is mostly covered by ice most time of the year. The ice can run to several hundred meters deep. This ocean with a circular shape is almost completely surrounded by the EuroAsia and North America continents. The salinity of this ocean is relatively low compared to the other oceans. This is probably to its limited connections to the other oceans and the influence of rivers and streams.
The Antarctic Ocean
The Antarctic Ocean is also referred to as the Southern Ocean has an area of 7.8 square miles. There are some who dispute the existence of the Antarctic Ocean as a separate ocean. These critics argue that it is a part of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is well known for its s numerous underwater plateaus some of which rise to up to 2000m below sea level. Barracudas and lantern fish are peculiar to this ocean.
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