An ocean is a large body of water that is saline. They are a major component of the Earth’s hydrosphere and 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans. Oceans are also important to plants and animals and they have also been important to human history and geography as they have been used for centuries in exploration and migration.
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world’s five ocean basins.With an area of about 5.4 million square miles, the Arctic Ocean is about 1.5 times as big as the United States. It is bordered by Greenland, Canada, Norway, Alaska, and Russia.
The Arctic Ocean is the world’s smallest ocean with an area of 5,427,000 square miles (14,056,000 sq km). It extends between Europe, Asia and North America and most of its waters are north of the Arctic Circle. Its The average depth of the Arctic Ocean is 1,038 m (3,406 ft) and its deepest point is Litke Deep in the Eurasian Basin, at 5,450 m (17,880 ft).. Throughout most of the year, much of the Arctic Ocean is covered by a drifting polar icepack that is an average of ten feet (three meters) thick. However as the Earth’s climate changes, the polar regions are warming and much of the icepack melts during the summer months. In terms of geography, the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route have been important areas for trade and exploration.
Interesting and Fun Facts About Arctic Ocean
- The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the five oceans of the world. It’s roughly 8% the size of the Pacific Ocean.
- With total area of 14.056 million sq. km, the Arctic Ocean includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies.
- Tropical cyclones develop off the coast of Cape Verde and travel towards the Arctic Ocean. These are very common from May to December.
- The Arctic Ocean has a coastline of 45,389 km and has depth of 4,665 m (from basin).
- The Arctic Ocean gets its name from ‘Arctos’, the Greek word for ‘bear’, because the Bear Constellation can be seen just above the north pole.
- The Ocean boasts several important ports and harbors like Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia) and Prudhoe Bay (US).
- The economic activity from the ocean is limited to the utilization of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.
- The Northwest Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are important seasonal waterways of the Arctic Ocean.
- The Arctic Ocean’s cold sheet of floating ice is quarters to seals, polar bears and arctic fox.
- The deepest spot under the Arctic Ocean is the Fram Basin, which is located 15,300 feet below the ice cover, and all this water is icy cold, that supports less marine life.
- There are three kinds of ice in the Arctic Ocean: pack ice, polar ice and fast ice.
- Temperatures of the icy water vary from -30 to -70°C all year round!
- The floating ice is around 16 million sq. km, which shrinks to 9 million sq. km. in summers. When the ice shrinks, open water leads expose the black water.
- The Arctic Ocean’s ice sheet is four times as large as the state of Texas.
- More fish live along the edges of the Arctic Ocean than anywhere else on the Earth.
- During long winters, the sun never rises above the horizon for a period of four months. This is a fact and it happens every year!
- Europe, Asia, North America and one part of Europe (Greenland), surround the Arctic Ocean, unlike Antarctica, which is only surrounded by the world’s major oceans.
- The Arctic is the only place on the Earth where polar bears live. The place receives roughly 8 inches of rain every year.
- Fridtjof Nansen was the first person to make a nautical crossing of the Arctic Ocean, in 1896.
- The first surface crossing of the ocean was led by Wally Herbert in 1969.