Top 10 Coolest Facts About Oceans

Mankind knows almost everything there is to know about the world which we live on, with scientific explanations for every mystery and photos of every corner of our lands, but the one thing that's still extremely mysterious and unexplored on our Earth are our oceans. You've probably got a good idea of what our oceans are like, and you've probably been in one at some point of your life, but in reality, we don't know much about the water that covers 71% of our Earth, and some of the things that we do know are mind-boggling.
The Top Ten
1 95% of all life on Earth comes from the oceans

I'm sure that if you were asked whether there was more life in or out of the oceans on Earth, you'd probably assume that there's more life in the oceans because they cover much more of the Earth's surface than land does. But I doubt that you'd expect such a gigantic imbalance, with 19 out of 20 living things on our planet coming from the oceans.

This is just an estimate because scientists haven't been able to explore much of the ocean and still have to classify a huge number of the species that live there. However, it's a very accurate estimate, and if it were to be wrong, it would only be because we estimated too low, meaning that it could be more like 96%.

2 The largest waterfall on Earth is underwater

While many would argue that it's not possible to have a waterfall underwater, you actually can. When different types of water meet, such as fresh water near the surface meeting saltier groundwater, the different temperatures can form huge volumes of water flowing over cliffs, behaving almost exactly like a real waterfall.

The Denmark Strait Cataract is more than three times taller than the highest above-water waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela. It is so enormous that it actually carries 2,000 times more water than Niagara Falls.

3 Oceans produce more than 70% of the Earth's oxygen

Many people say that trees recycle our carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, and that without them, we would be in a lot of trouble when it comes to breathing. But really, that's not completely true.

Though trees are super important in many other ways, the main thing we have to thank for our oxygen is the oceans. More specifically, aquatic plants like plankton, kelp, and algae, as well as some bacteria, are responsible. These organisms are individually extremely small but so numerous and widespread in the oceans that they produce an incredible amount of oxygen. Much of this oxygen is consumed by other animals in the ocean, but plenty still makes its way to the air we breathe.

4 Sound travels 4.3 times faster through oceans than through air

One weird thing about the oceans, and water in general, is that sound actually travels a lot faster than it does through air. This isn't what you would expect considering how much more dense water is, but it's actually true. Depending on the temperature of the water, it can be even faster.

This makes trying to find out where the many sounds that scientists hear in the oceans come from really hard because it's traveling so fast it could have come from anywhere!

5 At least 91% of underwater species are undiscovered

One thing that's both intriguing and creepy at the same time is that all of the underwater species we've classified, from sharks to whales to orcas to jellyfish to minnows, make up only an estimated 9% of all the species that live in oceans.

Almost all of these undiscovered species live so deep underwater that they exist without light and under extreme pressure. I'm sure there are some pretty incredible creatures down there. Who knows what could exist at that depth!

I don't even want to know what these species might look like. The ones we discovered already look horrible. I can't even imagine how ugly the others are.

6 The largest underwater mountain range is more than 9 times longer than the Andes

Of all the famous mountain ranges on land, from the Alps to the Rockies to the Himalayas, the largest is the Andes, with a length of around 7,000 kilometers. The biggest of all the underwater mountain ranges, which usually mark the border between tectonic plates, is the Mid-Ocean Ridge.

It is around 65,000 kilometers long, over nine times the length of the Andes, and extremely deep in the ocean.

7 Less than 5% of the oceans have been explored by humans

We know about as much as we possibly can about oceans, but they are so vast and so deep that we've only been able to explore about 5% of them. This is quite a bit, but still a very small amount compared to all that we still need to explore.

While most of us picture the kind of ocean that you'd see in Planet Earth videos or on the internet, with fish and other sea creatures only a few hundred, and at most a couple of thousand feet below the surface, most of the ocean is without any light at all. Humans haven't explored it very much.

8 At its widest point, the Pacific Ocean is 5 times wider than the Moon

Many people know that the Moon is not as big as you would think. The United States is actually slightly wider than the Moon. But it goes to show how big the Pacific Ocean is that five moons would have to be lined up to go from one end of it to the other.

In the average spot in the Pacific Ocean, it's more like only three or four times wider. However, at its widest point, which is from Indonesia to the top of South America, it's well over the length of five moons. This is pretty crazy to think about.

9 There is well over 20 million tons of gold throughout the oceans

To put it into perspective, that's enough gold to give every single person alive on Earth right now 9 pounds of gold, which is worth a good chunk of money. In fact, all the gold in every government reserve, bank vault, or personal collection is less than 200,000 tons, which pales in comparison to the 20 million tons deep in the ocean.

You may be thinking "Yay, free gold, time to go for a swim!" But the oceans are so vast that you could search for hours with hundreds of people and not find anything. If you did, it would probably be too diluted to be worth much anyway.

10 5% percent of the land belonging to the United States is surrounded by ocean
The Contenders
11 Almost 97% of the water on Earth is in the oceans

Think about how much you use water every day for drinking, bathing, washing things, brushing your teeth, and whatever else you do. Think about literally every single person on Earth doing that every day too. All that water isn't even a tiny fraction of the water on Earth because the oceans are so massive that they contain over 96.5% of the water on Earth. This is an immeasurably high amount of water.

12 It's harder to travel in the deep ocean than in outer space

I learned this when I was about 11, give or take a year. If you go too deep, the vessel you are traveling in has too much water pressure above it and gets crushed like a tin can.

13 Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface
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