It’s World Oceans Day (June 8). Our oceans play a critical role for biodiversity and make up a great deal of our planet’s surface. In honor of our beautiful oceans, let’s “dive in” with some fun facts about Earth’s five major oceans!
1. Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean; covering around twenty-eight percent of Earth’s surface, it is nearly equal in size to all the land area on Earth, and home to over twenty-five thousand islands. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the largest collection of plastic trash and debris in our oceans, is located in the Pacific Ocean (hence the name).
2. Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean, and all the largest islands are located in the Atlantic, including Greenland, Ireland, and Great Britain. The Atlantic Ocean is also the saltiest. The largest number of nesting sea turtles are found in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of Florida.
3. Indian Ocean
Covering one-fifth of Earth’s surface, the Indian Ocean is the third-largest ocean. It is the warmest ocean in the world, and its temperature continues to rise as a result of climate change.
4. Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean is the fourth-largest ocean and covers six percent of the planet’s surface. It is a habitat for emperor penguins, elephant seals, blue whales, and many other amazing creatures.
5. Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is our fifth-largest ocean, or the smallest one. It is 1.5 times the size of the US and covers four percent of Earth’s surface. It has the lowest salinity of all the oceans (meaning it’s the least salty), and it is also the shallowest. All the Arctic animals like beluga whales, polar bears, wolverines, sea otters, narwhals, and walruses live in the Arctic Ocean.
Our oceans are beautiful, and without them, life on our planet would not survive. Let’s commit to preserving our oceans and the marine life in them by reducing plastic use, eating less fish, and just observing the amazing wonder that they have to offer.