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The oceans have always been identified as separate bodies of water and named accordingly, however they are in actuality one, joined body of salt water. This global body of water has often been referred to as the “World Ocean” – or – “global ocean”. The separation of these bodies of water is primarily characterized by the continents.


Our largest ocean is the Pacific Ocean, which is over 64,000,000 square miles in area and averaging over 15,000 feet in depth. The Mariana Trench has been recorded as being approximately 36,200 feet in depth.


The second in size, you guessed it, it the Atlantic Ocean. At almost half the size of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean is 33,420,000 square miles and averages 12,881 in depth, with the Puerto Rico Trench being recorded as 28,231 in depth.


The Indian Ocean follows as a close second to the Atlantic Ocean as being a little over 28,350,000 square miles in area and approximately 13,000 average depth with the Java Trench being the deepest at 25,344 feet deep.


Not until the year 2000 was the Southern Ocean recognized as one of our oceans, as in the past, it was sometimes classified as the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Southern Ocean is 7,848,300 square miles with depths ranging from 13,100 to 16,400 feet deep. At the southern end is South Sandwich, which goes to 23,736 feet in depth.


The Mediterranean Sea is very nearly an ocean because it is connected to the “world ocean” through the Strait of Gibraltar and many times over the last few million years or so, Africa has closed the strait off entirely.


Covering 71% of the earth’s surface, the oceans have a significant effect on the whole earth’s surface, atmosphere and sea that are inhabited by living things. The oceans contain an estimated 97% of the earth’s water supply. The evaporation of the ocean water is the source of most rainfall and ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns. The oceans also preside over the Earth’s temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation. Insomuch as the ocean has always had moving water currents, it distributes this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during the winter and cools it during summer.


Although it is believe there is no other planet in our Solar System that contains water, more recent studies indicate that Mars may have had some water in the recent past.


Did you know that a large amount of all life on Earth exists in the oceans? The exact proportion is not known as yet, because there are still many species living in the oceans that have not yet been discovered.There are still very large areas beneath the ocean surface that still have not been explored. The oceans are very deep and therefore they are able to inhabit 300 times more than humans. Reefs are very tightly packed together and most the diverse habitats in the world. The best known types of reefs are tropical coral reefs that exist not only in tropical waters, but also can live in cold water, too. They are built up by calcium-depositing animals and are found on rocky ocean floors.


Now, we’re going to name some inhabitants of the oceans. We would like you to come up with any that we have left off the list, or maybe what we need to take off our list. Just to name a few inhabitants of the oceans are: fish, whale, octopus, dolphin, shark, clam, coral, crab, porpoise, eel, squid, seal, jellyfish, krill, turtle, manatee, plankton, urchin, rays, seahorse, snail, otter and starfish. All you have to do is email us at www.info@suntan.com.


Now, it’s time to get out in the sun and have a ball!


-Ms Suntan

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