When we think about the ocean, we imagine how vast this watery desert is, however the majority of us do not understand the sheer scale of the world’s ‘Global Ocean’. Approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered in ocean, and with that said, the global ocean gives us around 97% of the world’s water supply.
The ocean is a mysterious and thought-provoking environment that leaves us wanting to learn more. Even though the ocean takes up such a huge amount of the planet’s surface, researchers have only really explored 5%.
A question we might ask is; “what do the oceans do for the earth?” Well, the oceans have many functions, one of which is that they affect the climate and weather on earth. The oceans regulate the earth’s temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation, which is then stored as heat and then distributed around the planet. The global ocean is home to a ‘conveyor belt’ system which is constantly moving water around the world. The ‘Global Ocean Conveyor Belt’ circulates this heat energy, which heats the land and air throughout the winter and cools the land and air throughout the summer.
The world’s ‘Global Ocean’ is so large that it has split into 5 separate oceans which are all connected to each other. Before the year 2000, there were only 4 oceans in existence, however the IHO (International Hydrographic Organization) set out new boundaries for the ‘Southern Ocean’ which is the newest and second smallest ocean out of the 5. The largest out of the 5 oceans is the Pacific, which stretches over 63.7 million square miles, with its deepest point situated at 11,033m deep. The size of the Pacific Ocean is almost the same as the area of land found on earth.
Not only is the ocean incredible in itself, its inhabitants are also remarkable. The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet. With its average length of 30m, weighing a staggering 180 tons, these blue giants have been listed as ‘Endangered’ as they were nearly hunted to extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century. In addition to the blue whale, the grey whale is also a magnificent marine animal that has been known to have the longest migration of any mammal, travelling distances of up to 13,000 miles each year.
If you would like to know more about this incredible environment and habitat, then take a look at the extraordinary infographic below, created by divein.com which consists of 50 fascinating ocean facts which will leave you wanting more…