The Earth’s oceans are the largest bodies of water on earth. They have average depths of around 12,000 feet and contain traces of every chemical element known to man. The deepest ocean floor is the Pacific Ocean’s Marina Trench. The boundaries of oceans vary, depending on the world’s geopolitical climate and changes in plate tectonics. Below is a brief overview of the different oceans and their locations.
The oceans are separated into different regions, each with unique climates and ecosystems. The United States has recognized five ocean basins. These basins hold 97% of Earth’s water and influence global weather patterns and food chains. Hundreds of different types of marine life call these water bodies home. From blue whales to sharks to the world’s deepest ocean trench, these bodies of water are the habitat of various marine organisms.
The definition of oceans has changed over time. Until the year 2000, four oceans were recognized. These four oceans are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. The Arctic Ocean lies north of Greenland, Norway, and Alaska. There is no consensus on its boundaries, but the international community recognizes it as an ocean. Its boundaries are largely defined by a range of geological and oceanographic conditions.
The Pacific Ocean was named by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520. Its Latin name means “peaceful sea”. It is home to some of the strongest storms in history, due to the high energy levels of the ocean’s warm surface waters. Typhoons and cyclones form in the western and southwestern Pacific, respectively. There are many other oceans, but these three are the biggest.