Interesting facts about the Pacific Ocean

pacific ocean

The Pacific Ocean extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east

The Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest ocean, covering around 30% of the Earth’s surface; and approximately 46% of the earth’s water surface area.

The area of the Pacific ocean is 165.2 million square kilometers (63.8 million square miles) – significantly larger than Earth’s entire landmass of some 150 million square kilometers (58 million square miles).

pacific ocean map

The volume of the Pacific Ocean, representing about 50% of the world’s oceanic water, has been estimated at some 714 million cubic kilometers (171 million cubic miles).

The average depth of the Pacific Ocean is 4,280 meters (14,040 feet).

The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world. In 2010 the United States Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping measured the depth of the Challenger Deep at 10,994 meters (36,070 feet) below sea level with an estimated vertical accuracy of ± 40 meters.

challenger deep in the mariana trench

Surface water temperatures in the Pacific can vary from −1.4°C (29.5°F), the freezing point of sea water, in the poleward areas to about 30°C (86°F) near the equator.

The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean.

Both the center of the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean.

This large ocean was first sighted by the Europeans in the 16th century, and the name Pacific Ocean was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world.

ship

Ferdinand Magellan named the ocean “Mar Pacífico”, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means “peaceful sea“.

The continents of Antarctica, Asia, Australia, South America and North America touch the Pacific Ocean.

There are 42 countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean.

The exact number of islands in the Pacific Ocean has not yet been determined. But according to estimates, there are more than 25,000 islands.

pacific ocean islands

Islands in the Pacific Ocean are of four basic types: continental islands, high islands, coral reefs and uplifted coral platforms.

There are large islands such as Taiwan and New Guinea (the second largest island in the world).

Many beautiful groups of islands are found in the Pacific Oceans. These islands form an archipelago. The largest countries consisting mainly of archipelagos are located in the Pacific Ocean; These are Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand. Actually Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state, with more than 17,500 islands.

The Ring of Fire an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean contains over 450 volcanoes and is home to approximately 75% of the world’s active volcanoes. Also about 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

ring of fire pacific ocean

In 1883 a volcanic island called Krakatoa erupted and killed at least 36,380 people.

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean.

The ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean are generally clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

The Great Barrier Reef, measuring 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles), is the largest living structure on Earth. It is located in the Pacific Ocean off the northeastern coast of Australia. It can be seen from the Moon.

great barrier reef

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. Most of the world’s atolls are in the Pacific Ocean.

Due to the effects of plate tectonics, the Pacific Ocean is currently shrinking by roughly 2.5 centimeters (0.98 inches) per year on three sides, roughly averaging 0.52 square kilometers (0.20 square miles) a year. By contrast, the Atlantic Ocean is increasing in size.

Fish are an important economic asset in the Pacific. The shallower shoreline waters of the continents and the more temperate islands yield herring, salmon, sardines, snapper, swordfish, and tuna. In the last decade and a half it is estimated that 60% of all fish caught came directly from the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific has natural resources such as oil and natural gas but they are not harvested to their fullest extent due to the great depth of the ocean.

In 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith was the first to fly the Pacific from California to Australia.

About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages into countries like Indonesia, Madagascar and the Philippines.

There is a large amount of marine debris and pollution in the Pacific Ocean, all the result of people.

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