The ocean is one of the most important and fascinating features of our planet. Covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean plays a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate and supporting a diverse array of marine life. However, despite its importance, many people remain unaware of the unique and surprising characteristics of the ocean. Today we will explore five little-known facts about the ocean that are sure to surprise and amaze you.
Fact 1: The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface
It is no secret that the ocean is big, but did you know that it covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface? This vast body of water plays a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate, storing large amounts of heat and releasing it slowly over time. The ocean is also incredibly deep, with an average depth of around 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). Despite the challenges of living in such an extreme environment, the ocean is home to a wide variety of creatures, including whales, sharks, and deep-sea fish.
Fact 2: The ocean contains the largest mountain range on Earth
When most people think of mountains, they envision towering peaks rising high above the Earth’s surface. However, the ocean contains the largest mountain range on Earth, known as the mid-ocean ridge. This massive underwater mountain range spans more than 40,000 miles (64,373 kilometers) and runs through the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. The mid-ocean ridge was formed by volcanic activity and continues to grow as magma rises from the Earth’s mantle.
Fact 3: The ocean is home to the longest mountain chain on Earth
In addition to the mid-ocean ridge, the ocean is also home to the longest mountain chain on Earth, the Andes underwater mountain chain. This massive underwater mountain range runs along the western coast of South America and spans more than 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles). The Andes mountain chain was formed by tectonic activity and is home to a diverse array of marine life, including whales, dolphins, and sea lions.
Fact 4: The ocean is not blue
Despite its reputation for being blue, the ocean is actually not a uniform color. The color of the ocean varies depending on a number of factors, including the angle of the sun, the amount of phytoplankton and other microscopic organisms in the water, and the presence of pollutants. In some areas, the ocean can appear green or even red, due to the presence of different types of algae and other organisms.
Fact 5: The ocean has its own music
Did you know that the ocean has its own music? Sound travels much faster and farther in water than in air, allowing marine animals to communicate over long distances. In addition to communication, some animals also use sound for navigation and to locate prey. The sounds of the ocean can be heard from miles away and include everything from the low rumble of distant waves to the haunting songs of humpback whales.