Oceans for Kids
Around 71 percent of the Earth is covered in salt water. We call this major body of water the Ocean. The ocean is divided up into 5 major oceans, but they are actually all connected together. They are mostly divided up by the world's seven continents. Go here to learn more about the ocean habitat.
Here are the 5 Oceans of the World with a description of each:
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the oceans covering around one third of the Earth's surface. It separates Asia and Australia from North and South America. The Pacific Ocean got its name from the explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He called it the Mar Pacifico, meaning the "peaceful sea" in Portuguese.
The Mariana Trench lies within the Pacific Ocean. It's the deepest place in the world at 35,797 feet under the ocean. The largest island in the Pacific Ocean is the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific. Other notable features include the Hawaiian Islands and the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.
The Atlantic Ocean is the world's second largest ocean. It separates Europe and Africa from North and South America.
The Gulf Stream is a powerful warm current that flows in the Atlantic from the tip of Florida, up the coast of the United States, and then over to Europe. The Gulf Stream has a large impact on the climate of the eastern US and Western Europe.
Many years ago some people thought the Earth was flat and that ships would just fall off the Earth somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus proved them wrong by sailing across the Atlantic and discovering the Americas. The Atlantic Ocean gets its name from the Greeks who called it the Sea of Atlas.
The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world. It lies south of Asia, and India, and separates East Africa from Australia. It is the warmest ocean in the world.
The Indian Ocean includes the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Significant islands include Madagascar, the Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.
The Arctic Ocean is in the northern part of the Earth, primarily around the North Pole. It is the smallest and shallowest of the world's oceans. A lot of fresh water enters the Arctic from melting ice. For a good part of the year much of the Arctic is covered in ice.
The Southern Ocean is the fourth largest, or second smallest of the oceans. It sits at the South Pole and the southern part of the Earth.
Fun Facts about the Ocean
- The average depth of the world's oceans is 12,200 feet.
- The mountain Mauna Kea in Hawaii rises 33,474 feet from its base. This would make it the tallest mountain in the world if its base wasn't below sea level.
- Around 97 percent of the planets water is in the oceans.
- Around 80 percent of the world's population lives within 60 miles of the ocean coast.
- The world's longest mountain range is actually under the ocean and is called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
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