Nature

Top 10 Largest Seas and Oceans in the World

Pacific Ocean

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As we all know that about 71% of the land is made up of liquid water, of which, oceans and seas form one of the largest portions of the earth’s surface. There are about 113 seas of different depth and size and 5 different oceans in the world, each one of them has their own unique characteristics and specialities. All the oceans in the world have a volume of 0.3 billion cubic miles and an average depth of 12,080.7 feet. Here is the list of top 10 biggest seas and oceans in the world.

Largest Seas and Oceans

S.NoSeas and Oceans NameArea(Square Miles)
1Pacific Ocean64,196,000
2Atlantic Ocean33,400,000
3Indian Ocean28,400,000
4Arctic Ocean5,100,000
5Coral Sea1,850,000
6Arabian Sea1,491,000
7South China Sea1,148,000
8Caribbean Sea971,000
9Mediterranean Sea969,000
10Bering Sea873,000

1. Pacific Ocean-64,196,000 square miles (166,266,877 square kilometers)

Pacific, the largest and the deepest of Earth’s oceanic divisions, covers about 46% of Earth’s water surface. Occupying one-third of Earth’s total surface area, pacific ocean is larger than all of Earth’s land area combined together. However, Pacific features enormous tidal waves, exotic fish species and other marine creatures, giant kelp forests, breaching whales, hypnotic jelly and much more. The Pacific oceans have approximately more than 25,000 islands and most of them are seen in the south of the Equator in the Southern Pacific.

The ocean got its name from the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 who called the waters as “mar pacifico” means peaceful sea and Pacific means “peaceful”.The average depth of the ocean is 12,467 ft and it also contains the deepest places on earth known as Mariana Trench. Also, around 75% of the volcanoes are located in the Pacific Ocean basin and these volcanoes actually form a ring around the basin and therefore it is called the ring of fire. There are numerous earthquakes happen in this area because of the movement of tectonic plates of the continents and this causes Tsunamis which causes terrible destruction when hitting the land.

Pacific Ocean

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2. Atlantic Ocean-33,400,000 square miles (86,505,603 square kilometers)

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world that covers about 21 per cent of the Earth’s surface. The Altantic Separates North and South America from Europe and Africa and is the busiest ocean in the world to form a major trade route among countries. Also, in the northern area of the Atlantic Ocean is the Bermuda Triangle, which is also known as “the Devil’s Triangle,” because it is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of more than 50 ships and 20 aeroplanes over the past century, according to the U.S. Navy. It is believed that the Atlantic Ocean formed during the Jurassic Period and it is also the first ocean to be crossed by an aeroplane and ship together. The first ship to cross the ocean was the Cunard Line, in the 1850s and the first women to fly across the Atlantic Ocean was Amelia Earhart, in 1928.

Greenland is the largest island in the world located on the Atlantic Ocean. One of the largest oceans in the world is approximately 6.5 times the size of the United States. Also, the ocean is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world known as Cancun Reef off the coast of Mexico. The largest one if the Great Barrier Reef located off the coast of Australia. There is numerous underwater mountain range in the North Atlantic Ocean called the Atlantic Ridge. There are numerous sea creatures found in the Atlantic Ocean that includes humpback whale, sea lion, manatee, Atlantic ghost crab, penguins, the green sea turtle and various shark species.

Atlantic Ocean

3. Indian Ocean-28,400,000 square miles (73,555,662 square kilometers)

The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world, with Africa to its west, Asia to the north, Australia in the east and Antarctica in the south. It is a large body of salt water that also includes Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island. The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world’s oceanic divisions, covering 20% of the Earth’s water surface. During the 1500s, the Indian Ocean was being exposed by the sailors who are in a search for the route to Africa, however, during the 19th century the ocean is mostly dominated by the United Kingdom but later when the British empire declined, it was India and Australia who dominated in the region.

One of the largest oceans in the world has limited sea life as compared to other oceans in the world. It is because of two reasons, Firstly, the temperature of the Indian ocean will make it quite difficult to grow phytoplankton in most of the areas and this is required as a food source to support life in the ocean. Secondly, the ocean has a low oxygen content. The world’s most important ports are located on the Indian ocean namely Richard’s Bay in South Africa, Chennai in Madras India, Durban in South Africa, Columbo in Sri Lanka and Mumbai in Bombay India. The Indian Ocean has the lowest and highest recorded surface salinity levels.

Indian Ocean

4. Arctic Ocean-5,100,000 square miles (13,208,939 square kilometers)

The Arctic is the smallest of all the oceans in the world, but it is completely surrounded by land with the ocean centred approximately on the North Pole. Being one of the largest oceans in the world, Arctic ocean is mostly covered by ice and provides habitat to many endangered marine species including manatees, seals, sea lions, turtles and whales and many more. But, scientists have noted the increase in temperatures of the Arctic as a result of global warming which can threaten its biodiversity in coming years. The North pole is located on the Arctic Circle and there are three kinds of ice covering the area including polar ice, fast ice, and pack ice. Polar bears live and hunt on the ice of the Arctic Ocean. Also, the ocean has a wide variety of marine life like the bowhead whale, grey whale, narwhal, and beluga whale.

The Arctic ocean is home to six types of seals namely, the bearded seal, ribbon seal, ringed seal, spotted a seal, harp seal, and the hooded seal. The nutrients and organisms are being released into the water by the melting of ice directly help in the growth of algae. The algae feed zooplankton which serves as food for the sea life. The Arctic ocean has the largest species of fish as compared to other oceans in the world. Approximately 25% of the undiscovered petroleum is believed to be located in the Arctic Ocean. The ocean is covered by ice cap but that is melting at an enormous rate because of global warming and pollution. If the ice melting continues at the same pace, there will no ice in the Arctic ocean by 2040.

Arctic Ocean

5. Coral Sea-1,850,000 square miles (4,791,000 square kilometers)

The Coral Sea, named for its numerous coral formations lies to the southwestern parts of Pacific Ocean. The Coral sea also highlights the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef in the world, extends up to 1,200 miles towards the Australian northeast coast. The sea has a subtropical climate and it experiences typhoons, especially from January to April. The sea contains numerous reefs and islands. The world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef contained in the Coral Sea. The reef is so large that that it can be seen from space and hence comes under seven natural wonders of the world.

One of the biggest seas has a warm climate and quite stable, however, it is prone to tropical cyclones. It is believed that the coral sea basin has been formed approximately 58 million years ago. The Coral Sea is home to sponges, worms, anemones, lobsters, crayfish, crabs, and prawns and island of the coral sea contains approximately 2,000 species of plants. It is also home to six species of sea turtles namely, the Olive Ridley, flatback turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, green sea turtle, and the leatherback sea turtle. It is also home to 17 species of snakes and the world’s most venomous sea snake – the Aipysurus duboisii.

Coral Sea

6. Arabian Sea-1,491,000 square miles (3,861,672 square kilometers)

Located between the Indian and Arabian peninsulas in the northwestern section of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea is one of the largest seas in the world that forms a major trade route between India and other European countries from over centuries. Also, the Arabian Sea has a rich history of merchant water transportation and is historically known as the Erythraean Sea. The sea has been renamed after the Arabian merchants who dominated the sea from the 9th century to the late medieval period of history.

The largest river that flows into the sea is the Indus River, however, there are other rivers that includes the Narmada River, the Tapi River, and the Sabarmati River. The sea is a coastline to countries like India, the Maldives, Pakistan, Oman, Yemen, and Somalia and some of the major ports includes Okha Port, India’s Kandla Port, Navi Mumbai, Pakistan’s Gwandar Port, Oman’s Port of Salalah and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. It has two basins the Arab Basin and the Somali Basin separated by the Carlsberg Ridge.

Arabian Sea

7. South China Sea-1,148,000 square miles (2,973,306 square kilometers)

The South China Sea is a part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan. South China sea supports about one-third of the world’s shipping transportation which carries over $3 trillion in trade each year. Also, it encompasses lucrative fisheries that are crucial for the food security of millions of people in Southeast Asia.

Apart from this, there are huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed. It is believed that the South China Sea has been created approximately 45 million years ago and thier are approximately 250 small islands and reefs situated on the sea. According to the reports, there are approximately one-half of all the shipping boats in the world pass through the South China Sea. It has unique marine exsystem that includes, giant oysters, endangered sea turtles and giant oysters. It is one of the largest seas in the world.

South China Sea

8. Caribbean Sea-971,000 square miles (2,514,878 square kilometers)

The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere, renowned for it’s clear, warm water with a steady temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit . It is one of the largest seas in the world with its deepest point is the Cayman Trough, which lies between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Also, the Caribbean Sea has the world’s second biggest barrier reef, known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that it a major tourist destination.

It is believed that 14% of the total coral reefs are located in the Caribbean Sea. It has an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius with only a little variation of 3 degrees. The largest island in the Caribbean Sea is Cuba and is home to 90 mammal species that includes sperm whales, dolphins, humpback whales, manatees and seals. The Caribbean Sea produces 170 million tons of oil every year making it one of the largest oil-producing regions in the world.

Caribbean Sea

9. Mediterranean Sea-969,000 square miles (2,509,698 square kilometers)

Mediterraneon Sea is surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land. The name Mediterranean comes from the Latin word meaning “in the middle of the Earth.” Apart from being one of the biggest seas in the world, the Mediterranean Sea is home to some of the world’s busiest shipping routes. A recent study has also found that the Mediterranean Sea is experiencing the effects of global warming, which can threaten the marine life in recent decades.

The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe, Africa and Asia and sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a narrow passage known as Strait of Gibraltar. The sea is surroounded by land on all three directions, on the north by Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Middle East. The sea has two main subregions i.e the Eastern and Western and further it is divided into smaller waterbodies namely, the Strait of Gibraltar, Alboran Sea, Balearic Sea, Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, Adriatic Sea and the Aegean Sea.

Mediterranean Sea

10. Bering Sea-873,000 square miles (2,261,060 square kilometers)

The Bering Sea is located between Alaska and Siberia, and is one of the largest seas in the world, known for having some of the most harrowing and unpredictable weather conditions on Earth. It also hosts a varied habitat for aquatic life with more than 400 species of fishes. But, many of these species are at the verge of extinction according to The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

There are various marine mammals found in the Bering Sea that includes the polar bear, the orca, the walrus, the Steller sea lion, and the northern fur seal. One of the rarest whales in the world known as the North Pacific right whale seen in the Bering Sea. The sea is known for its seabird species and approximately 20 million seabirds breeding each year along with its shores.

Bering Sea

These are the largest oceans and seas in the world. Do post your comments.

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