Aqua Facts

Aqua Facts

How much of the Earth is water?

  • The oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth's water.
  • Less than 1 percent of the Earth's water is fresh water, and 2-3 percent is contained in glaciers and ice caps.
  • The oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet.
  • If the ocean's total salt content were dried, it would cover the continents to a depth of 5 feet.

What Ocean is relatively shallow?
The Atlantic Ocean, because it has large areas of continental shelves. The most noticeable feature in the Atlantic Ocean's abyss is the S-shaped mid-ocean ridge which runs the entire length of the ocean. Much of the ridge is hundreds of feet below sea level but the volcanic island of Iceland, the Azores, Ascension Island and Tristan de Cunha are all parts of the ridge that appear above sea level.

Atlantic Ocean Facts
Proportion of world ocean: 28%
Average depth: 12,254 feet (3,872 m)
Deepest point: 28,374 feet (8,648 m) in the
Puerto Rico Trench

What is the largest ocean?
The Pacific Ocean. This body of water could hold all the continents and almost all the other oceans. It spreads nearly half way around the world, from Asia east to the Americas, and from Antarctica north almost to the Arctic. The Pacific is also the deepest ocean. The world's highest peak, Mount Everest, would disappear if dropped into the Pacific's Philippine Trench, which is 32,995 feet deep.

Pacific Ocean Facts
Proportion of world ocean: 48%
Average depth: 13,740 feet (4,188 m)
Deepest point: 36,200 feet (11,033 m) in the Mariana Trench

Other Ocean facts:

  • At 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of almost all of the deep ocean is only a few degrees above freezing.
  • The speed of sound in water is 1,435 m/sec - nearly five times faster than the speed of
    sound in air.
  • Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) are among the largest and fastest marine fish. An adult may weigh 1,500 pounds and swim up to 55 miles per hour.
  • Green turtles can migrate more than 1,400 miles to lay their eggs.
  • A group of herring is called a seige. A group of jelly fish is called a smack.
  • Many fish can change sex during the course of their lives. Others, especially rare deep-sea fish, have both male and female sex organs.
  • Life began in the seas 3.1 billion to 3.4 billion years ago. Land dwellers appeared 400 million years ago a relatively recent point in the geologic time line.