50 Interesting Facts about Seas and Oceans

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26Zealandia

A huge sunken land-mass in the Pacific Ocean, dubbed Zealandia was spied from space, and scientists favor it being formally recognized as the 8th continent, of which New Zealand is its only visible portion.


27. In the 19th century, scientists had theorized that the Arctic Ocean got warmer as it got closer to the North Pole. They thought that the "Open Polar Sea" could provide trade routes through an equator-like temperate climate to Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It was later disproven by dozens of failed expeditions.


28. Tropical cyclones in the southern Atlantic Ocean are extremely rare, with only 1 hurricane in recorded history.


29. The deep ocean is heterogeneous and made up of discrete water masses, which can be tracked, measured, and dated with some water masses being up to 1,500 years old.


30. The Pacific Ocean just by itself is bigger than all the continents put together.


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31Point Nemo

When ships pass through Point Nemo in the southern Pacific Ocean, the closest other humans are in the International Space Station 400km up.


32. There is an intact cask of plutonium dioxide on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean because Apollo 13 failed to land on the moon.


33. The largest volcano on Earth is named Tamu Massif which is located at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. It has a surface area the same as New Mexico making it one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System.


34. The Blob is a warm water event that took place in the Pacific Ocean that was first detected in 2013 and is still impacting wildlife and weather today.


35. The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific Ocean due mainly to mountains.


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36Salty Lakes Near Lakes

Lakes near ocean coasts have a slightly higher salt content because of wind. Wind transfers salt off the ocean to freshwater lakes, altering the ecosystem and hosting unique forms of microbial life.


37. There is so much salt in the ocean that if all the salt in the ocean were to be removed and spread evenly over the Earth's land surface, it would form a layer of salt which would be more than 500 feet thick (166 meters). This would be about the height of a 40-storey office building.


38. The Gulf Stream has such an effect on temperatures in Western Europe, that it puts them in a completely different climate to other places at the same latitude around the world. Parts of Canada that have polar bears are on the same latitude as Scotland.


39. Earth's oceans are less salty than they should be. This is because the entire volume of the ocean goes inside the earth into magma chambers and out, every 6-8 million years, where it exchanges minerals it got from rivers, and we did not know this until 1979.


40. Each year, small groups of eastern gray whales travel from the northern Pacific Ocean along the coast of western North America to the warm waters of southern California and northern Mexico and then back in what is considered the longest annual migration of any mammal, up to 22,000km/13,700miles.


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41Iron Fertilization of Ocean

In 2012, a man named Russ George did an unauthorized 'Geoengineering experiment' of dumping around 100 tons of iron sulfate into the Pacific Ocean, hoping to 'lock carbon into the deep ocean over the long term.' Iron Fertilization of the ocean can capture 10-25% of annual carbon emissions, along with creating clouds that could cool the environment even more.


42. The Pacific Ocean gets its name from Ferdinand Magellan, who called it Mar Pacifico in Portuguese, meaning "Peaceful Sea." The Atlantic Ocean is named after Atlas, the Greek mythological titan who held the world on his shoulders.


43. Asphalt is a naturally occurring substance and sometimes it erupts from asphalt volcanoes. These are rare types of submarine volcanoes, which form deep undersea at depths of around 3000 meters. They provide a niche ecosystem with nutrients and sometimes take strange forms like the "Tar Lily."


44. For centuries scientists believed rogue waves were a myth, despite eyewitness accounts from returning mariners. The first real scientific measurement of a rogue wave only occurred on Jan 1, 1995, when it was recorded on an oil-drilling platform off the coast of Norway. It had a recorded maximum wave height of 25.6 m (84 ft) and peak elevation of 18.5 m (61 ft).


45. There are 20 million tons of gold in the sea.


46Undersea Brine Pools

There are undersea lakes called brine pools. These lakes are composed of extra dense saltwater which reacts much like a real lake. It will flow over ridges and can have waves. Submersibles will even float on the surface of the lakes.


47. There is an 'Underwater River' that flows along the seabed of the Black Sea.


48. Lake Chad in Central Africa is the remnant of an ancient inland sea referred to as Mega Chad.


49. Seagrass accounts for 10 percent of the ocean's capacity to store so-called "blue carbon," despite occupying only 0.2 percent of the sea floor, and it can capture carbon from the atmosphere up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.


50. During the Vietnam War, the American navy laid thousands of sea mines in the waters off North Vietnam. In August of 1972, a solar storm caused 4,000 of them to spontaneously explode in just a few weeks.

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