Oceans hold many hidden mysteries of our planet. Deep among this waters are rich ecosystems that often go unnoticed and underappreciated by humans.
About 71 percent of the Earth is covered in salt water. This water takes the form of five oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and the Southern. These large bodies of water contain natural resources that improve the lives of humans. One such resource is coral.
The immense Pacific, the largest of the Earth's five oceans, touches four continents. It separates North and South America from Asia and Australia. This ocean got its name from explorer Ferdinand Magellan who named it Mar Pacifico or "Peaceful Sea." The largest island in the Pacific Ocean is New Guinea, which is located in the South Pacific. It is also home to the Mariana Trench, the deepest place in the world, located 35,797 feet under the ocean.The Pacific Ocean hosts a diversity of fish including the sockeye salmon and the skipjack tuna.
The Atlantic is the second largest ocean. It separates Europe and Africa from North and South America. It got its name from the Greeks, who originally called it "The Sea of Atlas." The Atlantic's Gulf Stream is a very warm current and has a large impact on the climate of the eastern United States and Western Europe. You might find sea parrots soaring over the Atlantic Ocean.
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of Earth's oceans. It separates East Africa from Australia and includes the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Indian Ocean is home three different islands: Madagascar, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka.
Located near the South Pole is the fourth smallest ocean: the Southern Ocean. It completely surrounds Antartica. Out of the world's 20,000 fish species, only 20 live in the Southern Ocean. Here, fish are able to survive in an environment of 29 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of Earth's oceans and probably the coldest and shallowest. Most of this ocean is covered in fresh water because of the melting ice that surrounds it. And for most of the year, this ocean is frozen.
[Sources: Ducksters.com; The Encyclopedia of the Earth: Oceans and Islands]