10 Interesting Facts about the Atlantic Ocean

One of these following facts about the Atlantic Ocean should probably give you much information about the ocean. Atlantic Ocean is the world’s second largest ocean, behind the Pacific Ocean. With a total area of about 106,400,000 square kilometres (41,100,000 sq mi),it covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth’s surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. The first part of its name refers to Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the “Sea of Atlas”. Furthermore, to get to know more about this ocean, here are some other facts about the Atlantic Ocean you might be interested in.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 1: Term

The term Ethiopic Ocean, derived from Ethiopia, was applied to the southern Atlantic as late as the mid-19th century.Before Europeans discovered other oceans, their term “ocean” was synonymous with the waters beyond the Strait of Gibraltar that are now known as the Atlantic.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 2: S-shaped Basin

The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Eurasia and Africa to the east, and the Americas to the west. As one component of the interconnected global ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, and the Southern Ocean in the south.

Facts about the Altantic Ocean - Atlantic Ocean

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean – Atlantic Ocean

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 3: Idioms

In modern times, some idioms refer to the ocean in a humorously diminutive way as the Pond, describing both the geographical and cultural divide between North America and Europe, in particular between the English-speaking nations of both continents. Many British people refer to the United States and Canada as “across the pond”, and vice versa.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 4: Saltest Ocean

On average, the Atlantic is the saltiest major ocean; surface water salinity in the open ocean ranges from 33 to 37 parts per thousand by mass and varies with latitude and season. Evaporation, precipitation, river inflow and sea ice melting influence surface salinity values.

Facts about the Altantic Ocean - Atlantic hurricane graphic

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean – Atlantic hurricane graphic

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 5: Climate

Climate is influenced by the temperatures of the surface waters and water currents as well as winds. Because of the ocean’s great capacity to store and release heat, maritime climates are more moderate and have less extreme seasonal variations than inland climates. Precipitation can be approximated from coastal weather data and air temperature from water temperatures.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 6: History

The Atlantic Ocean appears to be the second youngest of the five oceans. It did not exist prior to 130 million years ago, when the continents that formed from the breakup of the ancestral super continent Pangaea were drifting apart. The Atlantic has been extensively explored since the earliest settlements along its shores.

Facts about the Altantic Ocean - Icebergs, Sout Atlantic Ocean

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean – Icebergs, Sout Atlantic Ocean

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 7: Economy

Besides major transatlantic transportation and communication routes, the Atlantic offers abundant petroleum deposits in the sedimentary rocks of the continental shelves. The Atlantic hosts the world’s richest fishing resources, especially in the waters covering the shelves. The major fish are cod, haddock, herring and mackerel.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 8: Coasts

The Atlantic has irregular coasts indented by numerous bays, gulfs, and seas. These include the Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Labrador Sea, Black Sea, Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, Gulf of Maine, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

Facts about the Altantic Ocean - Oceanic gyres

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean – Oceanic gyres

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 9: Natural Hazards

The Bermuda Triangle is popularly believed to be the site of numerous aviation and shipping incidents because of unexplained and supposedly mysterious causes, but Coast Guard records do not support this belief.

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean 10: Marine Pollution

Marine pollution is a generic term for the entry into the ocean of potentially hazardous chemicals or particles. The biggest culprits are rivers and with them many agriculture fertilizer chemicals as well as livestock and human waste. The excess of oxygen-depleting chemicals leads to hypoxia and the creation of a dead zone.

Facts about the Altantic Ocean - Thermohaline circulation

Facts about the Atlantic Ocean – Thermohaline circulation

Hope you would find those Atlantic Ocean facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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