Undoubtedly, the ocean is one of the world’s many wonders, fascinating people globally with its marine life and the calming effect of its waves. The deep ocean is vital to our world, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface and containing 96.5% of its water.
Despite being divided into different oceans, they function as one water body. This article presents a range of ocean facts to capture further your fascination with the vast blue depths surrounding us.
Facts About Marine Life
The Ocean’s Role in Enshrouding the Planet in Darkness:
The Ocean is responsible for creating darkness over the majority of the planet. With an average depth of 12,100 feet, light waves can only reach a depth of 330 feet in the ocean.
Therefore, everything located beneath that point remains dark. Since water covers most of the Earth’s surface, this implies that a considerable portion of the planet is always shrouded in complete darkness.
Massive Ocean Waves Beneath the Surface:
The largest ocean waves occur beneath the ocean’s surface and are not visible from shore. Known as internal waves, they resemble the waves observed on beaches, with crests, troughs, and breaking.
These waves are generated between two fluids with different densities and can reach sizes of over 200 meters below the surface and travel thousands of miles across ocean basins.
Exploring the Vastness of the Oceans: 99.9% of the Planet’s Habitable Space:
The oceans span roughly 71% of Earth’s surface, but due to their depth, they hold an astounding 99.9% of the planet’s livable volume. Additionally, the total amount of water they contain is an impressive 1.35 billion cubic kilometers.
Uncharted Waters: The Ongoing Quest to Map the Ocean Floor:
Despite their vastness, a mere 5% of the ocean floor has been accurately charted, with scientists having greater knowledge of the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. Fortunately, technological progress in the coming decades could potentially change this.
The World’s Longest Mountain Range Beneath the Seas:
The longest mountain range on our planet, known as the Mid-Ocean Ridge, is situated beneath the oceans, stretching approximately 40,390 miles in length, which is significantly longer than the longest mountain range above sea level, the Andes, which measures around 4,300 miles.
The Mid-Ocean Ridge consists of a series of mountains and valleys that traverse the globe, resembling a baseball, and was formed due to the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates.
Oceanic Volcanoes: The Dominant Force in Earth’s Volcanic Activity:
Most of the earth’s volcanic activity occurs in the ocean, with about 80% happening there. The South Pacific has the highest concentration of active underwater volcanoes, estimated to be around 1 million.
These eruptions are frequent and contribute to the formation of new land masses and provide a habitat for deep-sea organisms. In 2009, scientists identified the West Mata, which is the deepest known oceanic eruption to date.
Exploring the Deep and Mysterious Ocean: The Extremes of Challenger Deep:
The ocean is a deep and mysterious expanse with an average depth of 3,688 meters (12,100 feet). At its lowest point, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the ocean plunges to a staggering 10,994 meters, subjecting anything in its depths to a crushing pressure of eight tonnes per square inch.
To put this in perspective, if Mount Everest were placed at the bottom of the trench, its peak would still be over a mile underwater.
The Blue Whale: The Largest Animal to Ever Exist on the Planet:
The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed on the planet, reaching up to 108 feet in length and weighing around 400,000 pounds, which is equivalent to 33 elephants.
It is the largest animal currently living on Earth and the largest animal ever. Its size can be compared to that of an 11-story building.
Slow and Steady: Uncovering the Mysteries of the Oceanic Conveyor Belt:
The oceanic conveyor belt, which circulates water throughout the world’s oceans, moves much slower than wind-driven or tidal currents.
Completing a full circuit can take a single parcel of water up to 1,000 years. This slow-moving system also moves more than 100 times the volume of water that flows through the Amazon River.
Ocean’s Golden Treasure: Challenges and Opportunities:
According to the National Ocean Service, the oceans contain an estimated 20 million tonnes of gold, with about one gram of gold present in every 100 million metric tons of water in the Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
Scientists have calculated that there is sufficient gold in water for each person to possess eight pounds of it. Nevertheless, extracting gold from water is costlier than traditional mining. Most of these gold deposits in the ocean are situated at a depth of one or two miles, making extraction challenging.
The Ocean’s Vast Reservoirs: Exploring the Massive Quantities of Heat, Mass, and Carbon Stored Within:
The top 10 meters of the ocean hold an astounding amount of mass, equivalent to that of the entire atmosphere, while the top 2.5 meters hold a similarly staggering amount of heat.
Even the top 2.5 centimeters of the ocean contain an impressive volume of water. Additionally, the ocean is a vast carbon sink, storing an estimated 38,000 gigatons of carbon, which is 16 times more than the entire terrestrial biosphere.
A Vast Underwater Museum Holding Countless Historical Artifacts and Treasures:
A fascinating fact about oceans is their vast collection of treasures and artifacts. The ocean contains abundant historical artifacts, valued at an estimated 189 million dollars from the Titanic alone.
Research indicates that there are more historic artifacts beneath the sea than in all of the world’s museums combined, including airplanes from wars and civil aviation, not just from shipwrecks. The ocean could be deemed the earth’s largest museum.
The Pacific Ocean: A Vast Expanse That Surpasses the Moon in Width and Is Home to Thousands of Islands:
The Pacific Ocean is wider than the moon at its broadest point, which is between Indonesia and Colombia.
Its diameter at this point is a staggering 12,300 miles, 5 times greater than the moon’s. Additionally, the Pacific Ocean is home to over 25,000 islands.
The Importance of Undersea Cables for Global Communication and the Internet:
The internet depends on undersea cables, which allow for global communication. These cables are laid on the ocean floor between continents and landmasses.
The network spans over 500,000 miles and includes over 200 separate systems of interconnected cables, handling more than 95% of worldwide communication. Currently, fiber optic cables, most of which are located under the ocean, account for over 99% of international communications.
Point Nemo: The Farthest Point in the Pacific Ocean from Land:
Overflown by Astronauts on the International Space Station-Located over 1,000 miles from the nearest landmass, “Point Nemo” in the Pacific Ocean is the farthest point from land.
The closest humans to this point are often astronauts aboard the International Space Station as they pass overhead.
Bioluminescence: The Fascinating Light Show of Aquatic Animals:
Many aquatic animals, including fish, worms, jellyfish, octopuses, squid, and crustaceans, exhibit bioluminescence, which is the ability to produce light.
Bioluminescence is a crucial trait for animals living in water, and it serves various purposes, such as hunting, predator defense, and mate attraction.
The Mid-Ocean Ridge: A Seafloor Wonder That Spans 4x the Length of the Andes, Rockies, and Himalayas Combined:
The Mid-Ocean Ridge, found on the seafloor of all major oceans and extending over 65,000 km, is four times longer than the combined length of the Andes, Rockies, and Himalayas mountain ranges.
Discovering the Hidden Past: The Vast Number of Shipwrecks in the Ocean:
According to estimates, over 3 million shipwrecks are scattered across the ocean floor, with less than 1% of them being surveyed.
Some of the most notable wrecks include the Dokos shipwreck from 2700-2200 BC, the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, and the torpedoing of Russian marines during World War II, which resulted in the loss of numerous lives. These are just a few examples of the many shipwrecks that exist in the ocean.
The Denmark Strait Cataract: A Sub-Surface Waterfall Descending Over 3,500 Meters in the Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Greenland:
The Denmark Strait Cataract, situated in the Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Greenland, is a sub-surface waterfall that descends 3,505 meters (over three times the height of Angel Falls) and comprises 5 million cubic meters of water that continuously flow over it.
A temperature contrast on either side of a large underwater ridge creates this remarkable feature.
Unveiling the Oceans’ Vital Role:
Although rainforests are commonly believed to be responsible for producing most of the oxygen we breathe, oceans are more essential to our existence than we realize. Research has shown that oceans generate more than half of the earth’s oxygen, with tiny marine organisms such as kelp, algal plankton, and phytoplankton being the primary source.
The True Reason for the Ocean’s Blue Color:
The belief that the ocean’s blue color is due to reflecting the sky’s hue is a misconception. Rather, the ocean absorbs long-wavelength colors from the red end of the light spectrum and short-wavelength light, leaving behind mainly blue wavelengths.
The water acts as a filter. Additionally, the ocean can appear red or green when sunlight reflects off particles or sediments in the water.
Coral’s Natural Sunblock:
Coral creates its own sunblock to safeguard the algae living within it from excessive sunlight that can harm them in shallow water.
The coral produces fluorescent pigments, proteins that function as sunscreen, to shield the algae, which are the coral’s primary source of nourishment.
The marine life inhabiting the ocean is equally fascinating, from the blue whale, the largest animal ever, to the countless other species that call the ocean home.
We have much to learn from the ocean; our responsibility is to protect it and its inhabitants for future generations. To know more about such amazing facts, visit our website.
- Marine life plays an important role in the Earth’s ecosystem and is vital for maintaining balance and supporting life on the planet.
- Climate change and human activity significantly impact marine life, leading to habitat destruction, pollution, and overfishing.
- Many species of marine life are still unknown to humans, and there is still much to discover about the vast and diverse world beneath the ocean’s surface.
- Education and awareness about the importance of marine conservation are crucial for ensuring the long-term survival of marine life and the health of our planet.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.