Oceans of the World: How Many Oceans are There?

world oceans

Oceans represent the largest water bodies on our planet Earth. Oceanic water covers over 70.8% of Earth’s surface and is distributes in various oceans, seas, gulfs and bays. Often people ask exactly how many oceans are there in the world? The reason behind this question is that there have been different definitions of ocean at different points of time. Traditional terms like “Seven Seas” also add to the confusion as it makes believe think that there are seven oceans. Let’s examine the issue in details.

The World Ocean

In reality there is only one ocean on planet Earth. All the different oceans that we know are interconnected and thus form a single massive water body. In the late Paleozoic era, all the landmass on Earth was assembled as a supercontinent called Pangaea. This supercontinent was surrounded by a
superocean called Panthalassa. Over the period of time, Pangaea broke down and due to continental drift, the pieces of land began to move away from each other. In the present time, continents appears to divide the superocean — but in reality the superocean still exists and it is called the World Ocean.

Different oceans as we know them, are actually ocean basins.

The World Ocean covers 361,132,000 sq km (139,434,000 sq miles) area on Earth.

How much water is there all the oceans? Well, the total volume of all the water in World Ocean is roughly 1,332,000,000 cubic kilometres (320,000,000 cubic miles).

SEE ALSO: World Ocean Day

How Many Oceans are there the World?

The boundaries among ocean basins have evolved over the period of time due to historical, cultural, geographical, and scientific reasons.

Historically

There have been four ocean basins, namely:

  1. The Arctic Ocean,
  2. The Atlantic Ocean,
  3. The Indian Ocean, and
  4. The Pacific Ocean

In the Modern Times

These days many countries in the world also recognize the Southern Ocean (or Antarctic Ocean) as the fifth ocean. Therefore, now there are five oceans in the world:

  1. The Arctic Ocean,
  2. The Atlantic Ocean,
  3. The Indian Ocean,
  4. The Pacific Ocean, and
  5. The Southern Ocean
world oceans

Which is the Largest Ocean?

The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world.

Which is the Deepest Ocean?

Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the oceans. It is located in western Pacific Ocean. The maximum known depth of Mariana Trench is 10,984 meters (36,037 ft or 6.825 miles).

Which is the Smallest Ocean?

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest among five oceans.

What are the Names of the Seven Seas?

Seven Seas is a phrase that has been used in literature and popular culture for all the oceans in the world. Following are are Seven Seas:

  1. The Arctic Ocean
  2. The North Atlantic Ocean
  3. The South Atlantic Ocean
  4. The Indian Ocean
  5. The North Pacific Ocean
  6. The South Pacific Ocean
  7. The Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean
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