21 Indian Ocean Facts : You Might Not Know

The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the five oceanic divisions of the world. The ocean has been popular by its present name since 1515, when it was named after India.

It was known as the Eastern Ocean, a name still used during the mid-18th century. In Ancient Greek geography, the region of the Indian Ocean was known to the Greeks as the Erythraean Sea.

Some Amazing Facts About The Indian Ocean are Below:

The Indian Ocean Has Gulfs, Bays, And Chokepoints.

The Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean has vital chokepoints like the Bab el Mandeb, Malacca Strait, Hormuz, Lombok Strait, and Southern access to the Suez Canal. Towards the north part of the Indian Ocean lies the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. To northwest parties, the Arabian Sea and the Andaman Sea lie to its northeast part.

The well-known gulfs of Aden and Oman are located to the northwest, whereas the Bay of Bengal is to the northeast. Also, the great Australian Bight is located off the southern Australian Coast.

The Indian Ocean Is the Third-Largest Ocean.

The Indian Ocean is actually the third-biggest one among the world’s five oceans.  This ocean spans more than 6200 miles between Australia and the southern end of Africa. 

This ocean covers 70,560,000m square kilometers or 27,2400 square miles. This ocean is 19.8% of the water located on the Earth’s surface.

The average depth of this ocean is 12,274 feet or 3741 meters. The deepest point of this sea lies in the Sunda Deep of the Java Trench, located off the southern coast of Indonesia or Java, and is 7450 meters or 24442 feet below water.

It is surrounded by India, Iran, Bangladesh, and Pakistan from the north, the Malay Peninsula, Australia, and Sunda Islands of Indonesia to the east, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula from the west, and the Southern Ocean towards the south. 

It is mainly connected to the Atlantic Ocean and even mingles with the Pacific Ocean from the southeast.

Indian Ocean Covers Our Earth’s Surface’s 20%

Indian Ocean A Water World

Though this ocean doesn’t look huge, it is actually huge. It covers almost 20% of the Earth’s surface; hence, the Indian Ocean greatly contributes to the world’s water load. This ocean has an average depth of 3890 meters and a volume of 292,131,000 cubic kilometers.

It Is A Crucial Geographic Entity.

The Indian Ocean differs from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in different respects. The Indian Ocean has very few islands and narrow continental shelves. It is the only ocean in the world with asymmetric and also semi-annually reversing surface circulations.

The most accepted border of this ocean is with the Atlantic Ocean, running from Cape Agulhas, from Africa’s southern tips, and even further southward.

Limited Marine Life Because Of High Water

Limited Marine Life

Another amazing information regarding the Indian Ocean is that it has limited marine animal life because of its higher water temperature. It is the warmest ocean in the world and provides little scope to plankton and various other species for growth.

Tuna and shrimp are found in abundance in the Indian Ocean. Those animals are also caught and exported to European nations. Many endangered species, such as seals, dugongs, whales, and turtles, live in the Indian Ocean. 

These marine animals are threatened by illegal fishing. At the same time, various other illicit activities, such as maritime piracy, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and many more, also happen through important waterways like the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean Is Mainly The Warmest And Saltiest Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It is also the saltiest ocean. It has an average salinity of about 37 parts per thousand. Hence, there is not a lot of sea plankton.

It Is Important For World Geopolitics

 World Geopolitics

A country that has a secured position in the Indian Ocean would be viable for other littoral nations located on the coastline of the Indian Ocean, like the countries in the middle east, Africa, and South Asia. After the end of World War II, countries focused on internal security and economic issues.

The island countries grouped into subregions while diving the Ocean into the Western Indian Ocean and the Eastern Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is a strategic water body. It played a crucial role in the Cold War when the world was mainly divided into two camps headed by the Soviet Union and the United States. On the other hand, India maintained a neutral position.

The Indian Ocean Has A Unique Climate.

The Indian Ocean has a unique monsoon climate, with strong seasonal winds that bring rainy and dry seasons to the region.

The monsoon winds also help to distribute moisture and heat throughout the Indian Ocean, influencing the weather and climate patterns of nearby landmasses.

Formation Of The Indian Ocean

ndian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is believed to have formed about 50 million years ago due to the breaking apart of the supercontinent Gondwana.

The Indian Ocean Has Unique Physical And Chemical Properties

This ocean has a unique balance of different special properties. As mentioned earlier, the water of the Indian Ocean has the highest concentration of floating and dissolved hydrocarbons. It also has a maximum negative water balance and is the only single water source with the lowest and highest salinity levels.

The Indian Ocean Has The Lowest Oxygen Content

The Indian Ocean

The water in the Indian Ocean carries one of the lowest oxygen content in the world. Thus, this water has a greater evaporation rate in this Ocean than its precipitation influx. This makes life growth in the Indian Ocean really unique.

The Indian Ocean Has Some Tectonic Plate Boundaries

The basin of the Indian Ocean was formed due to the break up of the supercontinent Gondwanaland. This happened around 180 million years ago. The Indian subcontinent started moving northward 125 million years ago, much closer to Eurasia.

Around 53 million years ago, Africa moved towards the west, and Australia separated from Antarctica.

Around 36 million years ago, the Indian Ocean got its present shape. It opened almost 140 million years ago. However, the basin of this ocean is just 80 million years old. It has a few ridges and also a mountain range that is seismically active. This mountain range is a part of the world’s ocean ridge system.

One of the amazing facts about the Indian Ocean is that it bears many tectonic boundaries. Those include the Rodrigues Triple Point, where Indo-Australian, African, and Antarctic continental plates merge.

It Has 6000 Km Of River Run.

This Ocean gets almost 6000 km of river runoff from different parts. Those parts include the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, which are two of the largest rivers. As the Indian Ocean’s location is close to the equator, the evaporation rate remains very high here.

Indian Ocean Has Many Oil Deposits

Indian Ocean Has Oil Deposits

The Indian Ocean has made a significant contribution to world trade. Besides mineral deposits and navigation routes, this water body also has many oil deposits. Those oil deposits comprise nearly 40 percent of the world’s total production.

The Indian Ocean Has Some of The World’s Most Important Ports

 Indian Ocean Facts

The Indian Ocean has some of the very important ports of the world that belong to different continents. Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata are some of the major Indian ports of this Ocean.

At the same time, Richards Bay and Durban in South Africa, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Melbourne in Australia, and Jakarta in Indonesia make the other major ports of this Ocean.

Some of the other seaports of the Indian Ocean are Aden in Yemen, Mombasa in Kenya, etc.

The Indian Ocean Has A Submerged Continent.

Another amazing fact about the Indian Ocean is that a submerged continent has been discovered in this Ocean. That continent is known as the Kerguelen Plateau. This submerged continent is believed to be of volcanic origins. 

The Indian Ocean is crucial in shaping the history of our world through trade relations between ancient civilizations developed on its coasts.

The oldest civilizations of the world, such as the ancient Egyptian, the Mesopotamian civilization, and also the Indus Valley Civilization, flourished around this amazing ocean known as the Indian Ocean.

In the later years, power blocs fought a lot to control it during the Second World War.

The Deepest Part Of The Indian Ocean

 Indian Ocean Facts

The lowest point in the Indian Ocean is the Java Trench, which is almost b23812 ft. or 7258 meters deep. The average depth is almost 12762ft. or 3890 meters.

The Indian Ocean Has Seamounts

The Indian Ocean is full of seamounts, which are mainly submarine volcanos that are extinct. They are mainly located near Seychelles.

The Indian Ocean Has A Lost Continent

The Indian Ocean

In recent years, many scientists have located the remnants of a specific continent in the Indian Ocean. They have named that undiscovered landmass “Mauritia.”

The Indian Ocean Faces High Level Of Pollution

Various high-level economic activities, including oil exploration, result in significant pollution of the Indian Ocean every year.  In addition, ship movements and oil spills add to the pollution level of this ocean. 

The most polluted area of the Indian Ocean is the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea.

It Has The Fewest Marginal Seas

The Indian Ocean has a significantly smaller number of marginal seas than other notable oceans. The important ones include the Great Australian Bight, the Arabian Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

At the end of this article, we learned about 21 amazing facts about the Indian Ocean. These facts offer us a clear picture of this significant ocean of the world. To know more, you can visit our website.

Indian Ocean Facts
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