The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's five oceans and extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east. It encompasses approximately one-third of the Earth's total surface and 46% of the Earth's water surface with a volume of approximately 622 million cubic km.
Ten Facts about Pacific Ocean
- The tallest mountain in the world is found in the Pacific Ocean: Mauna Kea of the Hawaiian Islands.
- Driving forces for Pacific ocean currents are the earth's rotation, wind friction at the surface of the water, and variations in seawater density due to differences in temperature and salinity.
- The Pacific was given its name because of the tranquillity of its waters.
- Pacific Ocean was named by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, in the year 1520 during his fateful attempt to become the first Europeans to sail completely around the world.
- Pacific Ocean is currently shrinking due to plate tectonics, while the Atlantic Ocean is increasing in size.
- Pacific ocean has an area of 179.7 million square kilometres which is significantly larger than Earth's entire landmass.
- Pacific Ocean is the home of many creatures such as the brightly coloured fish living in coral areas, squids, sharks, and crustaceans, molluscs and mammals.
- The Pacific Ocean has several long seamount chains which are chains of mountains submerging from the ocean seafloor formed by hotspot volcanism.
- The Pacific Ocean is the only ocean which is almost totally bounded by subduction zones. Only the Antarctic and Australian coasts have no nearby subduction zones.
- Pacific Ocean contains about 25,000 islands which is more than the total number in the rest of the world's oceans combined.