What Are 10 Facts About the Pacific Ocean?

10 Facts About the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the world’s very largest ocean, stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Antarctic Ocean, from the Bering Sea to the Ross Sea in Antarctica. It is connected to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the Bering Strait and to the south by the Drake Passage and the Strait of Magellan. America is on its east, and the landmasses of Asia and Australia are on its western border. It is also divided into the North Pacific and South Pacific by the equator. The Pacific Ocean covers more than overall 30% of the Earth’s surface.

To put it in perspective, it is twice the size of the Atlantic Ocean and also has twice the volume of water compared to the Atlantic Ocean. Secondly, it is larger than the combined surface area of ​​all continents. The Pacific Ocean has an area of ​​about 63.8 million square miles and a volume of 714 million cubic kilometers of water. It also has many marginal seas and bodies of water, such as the Bering Sea, the Coral Sea, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the Sea of ​​Japan, the South China Sea, East China Sea, and also the Tasman Sea. Some of the most well-known gulfs are the Gulf of Alaska and the Gulf of Tonkin. The deepest ocean on Earth has many interesting geological features and other amazing facts that we will discuss in this article.

10 Fun Facts About the Pacific Ocean

1. Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan Gave It Its Name

The Pacific Ocean was discovered by Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan during a Spanish expedition in 1519. He set out with five ships and 270 men to the Spice Islands, where he was on his way to sail around the world. Sailed between the southernmost tip of the South American mainland and also the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. 

He discovered the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After crossing the rough and stormy seas off Cape Horn, when he reached the Pacific Ocean, he found a calm sea. So he named this vast ocean “Pacifico”, which means Pacific, peace, and calm. However, until the 18th century, this ocean was also called the Sea of ​​Magellan.

2. The Highest Underwater Mountain On Earth Is In The Pacific Ocean

We all know that Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth. However, the underwater mountain Mauna Kea is much taller than Everest, which may make it appear smaller. The only difference is that it rises from the ocean floor. Mauna Kea is a volcano that was born over 1 million years ago. It is dormant or inactive, and its lava is very viscous, creating a steeper profile. The height of Everest from base to summit is about 8,848 m, but Mauna Kea is 10,210 m. It rises from the ocean floor, and its summit is the highest point in Hawaii.

3. There Are 25,000 Islands And Atolls, Large And Small 

Many islands and island groups in the Pacific Ocean. There are also many coral reefs and reefs. Most of the islands are located south of the equator in the South Pacific Ocean. There are three major island groups: Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Even the world’s second largest island, New Guinea, which is part of Melanesia, is in the Pacific Ocean. 

Other major islands in the Pacific Ocean include Fiji and the Hawaiian Islands. These are popular tourist destinations, making the Pacific Ocean one of the most visited places in the world. Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands are also very famous, especially for their wildlife and culture. The Pacific Ocean is a study area for ecologists, climatologists, and environmental experts due to its rich flora and fauna.

4. The Mariana Trench Is The Deepest Trench In The Pacific Ocean.

In addition to being the deepest ocean in the world, Pacific Ocean also has the deepest trench, the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of which is known as the Challenger Deep. The trench was explored by the HMS Challenger in 1875. In 2012, famous Titanic director James Cameron set a record by becoming the first person to reach the depths alone. 

It is located 10,944 m below sea level, the deepest part of the ocean. It is located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which was formed by the interaction of plates. The Mariana Trench is 11,034 m deep, which is deeper than the height of the Mount Everest. It is known to have formed 180 million years ago, however making it one of the oldest ocean floors.

5. Home Of “Point Nemo” – A Graveyard Of Rockets And Satellites.

The South Pacific Ocean is the most remote place on Earth and the farthest place from land. Known as Point Nemo, or the known Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, this place was discovered in 1992 by surveyor Hrvoje Lukatela. Point Nemo is 34 times the size of France, has weak currents, low nutrients and almost no marine life. To reach the nearest land, one must travel over 2685 km, making Point Nemo the most remote, loneliest and uninhabited place on Earth. 

But even here, plastic pollution is a serious problem. Due to its remoteness from human habitation, it is used by international space agencies and institutions as a “space graveyard” to crash rockets, satellites, and cargo ships that can no longer be used. More than 250 spacecraft lie 4 kilometers below the surface at Point Nemo, making it a spacecraft graveyard.

6. Here You Will Find The World’s Longest Coral Reef, The Great Barrier Reef.

The Pacific Ocean is home to the world’s most extensiveand known coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef. Located on the northeast coast of the Australia, it is a place of breathtaking beauty. Stretching 1,429 miles in length, the world’s largest coral reef was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. 

There are about 2,500 coral reefs with 400 different kinds of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 species of mollusks. It is also the site of extensive scientific research and is rich in marine life. Endangered dugongs, sea slugs and rare large green sea turtles live near the reefs.

7. The Pacific Ocean Is Shrinking By One Inch Each Year 

The Pacific Ocean is shrinking by one inch each year due to plate movement, while the Atlantic Ocean is expanding by one inch each year. This phenomenon occurs on three sides of the Pacific Basin. Another interesting fact is that the diameter of the Pacific Ocean at its widest point is five times the diameter of the Moon.

8. There Are Two Major Gyres In The Pacific Ocean Of Our Planet.

Gyres are ocean currents that result from the rotation of the Earth on its axis and the position of the continents. They are responsible for redistributing the sun’s heat and important nutrients to the world’s oceans, and marine plants and animals depend on them for life and survival. There are five major gyres in the world, two of which are in the Pacific Ocean. 

The North Pacific Gyre circulates above the very known equator. It runs clockwise from California to Japan. Below us stretches the South Pacific Gyre. It flows in the other direction, and these currents carry away piles of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean and deposit them in certain areas, such as the Pacific Garbage Patch.

9. The Famous Ring Of Fire Is In The Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Ocean is called the “Ring of Fire” because it has several volcanoes that form a crescent-shaped ring around the basin. Due to tectonic and oceanic plate movements, the region is prone to strong seismic activity and tsunamis. About 75% of the world’s active volcanoes are located here. The most famous eruption occurred in 1883, when Krakatoa Island erupted, killing thousands. This event left its mark on history, killing 37,000 people. Many more were injured by earthquakes and dust clouds, as well as strong storms and tsunamis.

10. Rich In Natural Resources 

The Pacific coast is rich in oil and natural gas reserves, especially in Australia and New Zealand. Their extraction takes place mainly in shallow waters near the continental shelf. Apart from this, pearls are also found off the coasts of Japan, Nicaragua, Panama, also Papua New Guinea, also Australia, and the Philippines. 

Much of the world’s overall seafood is caught in the Pacific Ocean. It is rich in delicacies such as tuna, salmon, shellfish, swordfish, sardines, snapper and herring. The waters of the Pacific Ocean are a source of raw materials such as minerals, gravel and sand for the construction industry.

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