The vast, deep expanse of the ocean has long captivated the imaginations of humans. It’s home to a surprising and endless variety of creatures, processes, and phenomena, of which we only see the surface. Here are 10 fascinating ocean facts that will blow you out of the water and spark your curiosity about our maritime world:

  1. The Ocean Is Home to the Largest Ecosystem on Earth
    The ocean is both the largest and most biodiverse habitat on Earth. It’s home to millions of species, from whales and tuna to crabs and plankton, and more. And, it has the largest single structure made by a living organism: the Great Barrier Reef.

  2. The Ocean Contains More than 70 Percent of the Earth’s Surface
    The ocean is a truly immense body of water. In fact, more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean. That’s over 360 million square kilometers! To put that in perspective, the land masses on Earth add up to just 149 million square kilometers.

  3. The Ocean Is Home to the World’s Deepest Place
    The deepest place in the ocean is called the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean near the Mariana Islands. It reaches a terrifying depth of 11,034 meters. To put that into perspective, Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak, is “just” 8,848 meters tall.

  4. The Ocean Contains Half of the Earth’s Oxygen
    The ocean is responsible for half of the oxygen we breathe. Through a process called phytoplankton photosynthesis, tiny ocean plants produce half of the world’s oxygen. Over 50% of its total oxygen production comes from just three species of phytoplankton: Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and Coccolithophores.

  5. The Ocean Contains a Vast Amount of Water
    The ocean holds an incredible 97% of all Earth’s water. Its total volume is estimated to be between 1,339 and 1,372 million cubic kilometers. That’s more than the combined volume of all of Earth’s land!

  6. The Ocean Is Divided Into Different Zones
    The ocean is divided into different layers, or zones, based on the amount of sunlight that reaches it. From the surface down, there’s the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and hadopelagic zones. These zones are home to a variety of creatures from dolphins to sharks to eels.

  7. The Ocean Contains Untold Mysteries
    The deep ocean still contains many unknowns. In fact, less than 5% of it has been explored by humans. That means there could be thousands of species of unknown life living down there!

  8. The Ocean’s Shaping the Land Too
    It’s not just the land that’s shaped by the ocean – the ocean itself is constantly changing, too. The Earth’s coastlines have shifted significantly over time due to changes in sea level, volcanic activity, and tectonic plate movements.

  9. The Ocean Connects Us All
    The ocean is a huge part of our lives, even if you don’t live near it. It’s essential for human consumption, trade, and industry. The ocean is full of potential for new medical and scientific breakthroughs. And, it helps to regulate our climate.

  10. The Ocean Needs Our Protection
    The ocean is home to an incredible variety of creatures and habitats. Sadly, it’s also facing numerous threats from human activities such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change. We must do everything we can to protect the ocean for future generations.

The oceans are a vast and mysterious place, teeming with life and full of surprises. We’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to what we know about the ocean – and must do our part to ensure its health. From the towering depths of the Mariana Trench to the rich diversity of its creatures, there’s no denying the power and majesty of the ocean.