Our oceans are incredible. Even though we rely on them to feed us, control global temperatures, and move people and goods, there is still a lot we don’t know about them. Here are five facts about our oceans that just might surprise you.
1) The pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is equivalent to one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.
The deeper you swim in the ocean, the more pressure there is. In fact, for every 10.6 meters you descend, the pressure increases by 14.5 pounds per square inch. Animals that live deep in the ocean have adapted to life under high pressure. A whale’s lungs can collapse safely under pressure, which keeps them from rupturing.
2) Most of earth’s volcanic activity happens in the ocean.
The ring of fire, located in the Pacific Ocean, is the most volcanically active region on earth. This area stretches nearly 40,200 kilometers and has more than 450 volcanos.
3) Tides move water up and down; currents move water back and forth.
Oceans are not stagnant – everything is constantly in motion. Tides are very big waves that move in response to the forces exerted by the moon and the sun. Currents move based on a lot of different factors including tides, wind and water temperature.
4) 95 per cent of our oceans are unexplored
We’ve only researched five per cent of our oceans. There is still a lot we do not know about this incredible ecosystem, and the amazing species that live in it. New discoveries are happening all the time: just last year, researchers identified a new species of puffer fish (Torquigener albomaculosus) that makes intricate geometric designs on the ocean floor. Watch a video of the puffer fish here.
5) Technically, there is really only one ocean
The ocean covers 71 per cent of the earth and although it has been given names to divide up each section it is really just one body of water, the global ocean. This interconnectivity means that the choices we make on our local coastlines have an impact across the globe.