What Is the World’s Largest Ocean?
What Is the World’s Largest Ocean? Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest Ocean, lying between Asia and the Americas, followed by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. Area about 165,250,000 square kilometres (63,800,000 square miles). In the Marianas Trench, it is over 10,984 metres (36,037 ft) deep.
The pacific contains a great many islands, Australia being the largest. Although it covers one-third of the earth’s surface, it was unknown to Europeans until the 16th century. Magellan sailed across it (1520) but it was not properly explored until the days of Captain Cook, in the 18th century. The pacific is surrounded by volcanic mountain ranges and receives few great rivers. Probably the world’s richest fishing grounds are in the North Pacific.
The Pacific is the oldest of the existing ocean basins. Its oldest rocks have been dated at about 200 million years. The Pacific basin is referred to as the “Ring of Fire” due to intense earthquake and volcanic activity occurring near areas of tectonic plate subduction (where one tectonic plate is forced under another).
The average depth of the ocean is about 12,100 feet. The deepest part of the ocean is called the Challenger Deep and is located beneath the western Pacific Ocean in the southern end of the Mariana Trench, which runs several hundred kilometres southwest of the U.S. territorial island of Guam. Challenger Deep is approximately 36,200 feet deep. It is named after the HMS Challenger, whose crew first sounded the depths of the trench in 1875.