Ocean Facts & FAQ

by Bob

in Ocean

By any measure, the Earth is certainly a wet place. The entire ocean makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface and is 100% of the reason that life exists on this planet. It influences our weather, our food supply; we owe a lot to this supersized lake.

Deep Blue Ocean

Deep Blue Ocean

Here are some neat ocean facts and FAQ:

For many of the following FAQs, ocean refers to the entire body of water (world ocean), unless otherwise indicated.

Why is the ocean blue?
The ocean absorbs other colors in the light spectrum but not blue. The ocean also reflects the blue sky.

How many oceans are there?
There are 5 oceans.

Which of the 5 oceans is the coldest?
The Southern Ocean is the coldest.

How much water is in the ocean?
352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallons. 1 That’s 356.67 quintillion gallons.

What percentage of the Earth’s water is in the ocean?
96%. If all the ocean water was sucked up and dumped on the mainland U.S., it would fill it to a depth of 100 miles.

How is the Earth’s water divided up?

Water source Water volume, in cubic miles Water volume, in cubic kilometers Percent of
Percent of
total water
Oceans, Seas, & Bays 321,000,000 1,338,000,000 96.54
Ice caps, Glaciers, & Permanent Snow 5,773,000 24,060,000 68.6 1.74
Groundwater 5,614,000 23,400,000 1.69
    Fresh 2,526,000 10,530,000 30.1 0.76
    Saline 3,088,000 12,870,000 0.93
Soil Moisture 3,959 16,500 0.05 0.001
Ground Ice & Permafrost 71,970 300,000 0.86 0.022
Lakes 42,320 176,400 0.013
    Fresh 21,830 91,000 0.26 0.007
    Saline 20,490 85,400 0.007
Atmosphere 3,095 12,900 0.04 0.001
Swamp Water 2,752 11,470 0.03 0.0008
Rivers 509 2,120 0.006 0.0002
Biological Water 269 1,120 0.003 0.0001
Source: Igor Shiklomanov’s chapter “World fresh water resources” in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World’s Fresh Water Resources (Oxford University Press, New York).

Why is the ocean salty?
The ocean came to its current salty state of 3.5% hundreds of millions of years ago. Earth has a lot of salt and plenty of it washed into the ocean. It is now in a sort of equilibrium, where the amount of salt that washes into the oceans is offset by new minerals that are created from it in the bottom of the ocean.

Why aren’t lakes salty?
They are somewhat salty. Lakes generally have inflows and outflows which keep the salt levels from building up. Oceans only have inflows. Lakes like the Dead Sea have no outflows, thus their salt levels can rise to a salinity level 10x that of the ocean.

How much salt in is a gallon of ocean water?
4.5 ounces which equals about 1/2 cup of Morton’s salt. Adult humans need around 3 grams of salt per day. 4.5 ounces=128 grams. One gallon of ocean water would supply all of your salt needs for 42 days.

Is ocean water drinkable?
You can drink it. It won’t kill you if you drink a little but if you only drink any heavily salted water exclusively you will eventually die of dehydration.

Why would you die from dehydration by exclusively drinking ocean water?
There’s way too much salt in it. Your body has to flush that salt out, so you would urinate all the water you drank and then some, with a net loss of water for your body. If you drank a gallon of ocean water, you would urinate 1 gallon+ trying to get rid of the salt.  If you can filter out the salt, then ocean water is fine to drink.

What percent of the ocean remains unexplored?

What percent of all life is in the ocean?

How deep is the ocean?
It averages about 14,000 feet or 2.65 miles, 2 The deepest part is the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific Ocean. It is 36 ,000 feet deep.

What are the 3 ocean light zones?
They are zones based on how much sunlight reaches them.

  • euphotic or sunlit zone – down to 660 feet which is the max. depth for photosynthesis to occur.
  • dysphotic or twilight zone –  661 – 3,300 feet. Some sunlight but no photosynthesis
  • aphotic or midnight zone – below 3,300 feet. No sunlight

What is the average water temperature of the ocean?
38 degrees

What is a fathom?
Used for measuring the depth of oceans = 6 vertical feet

What is a league?
The distance a person could walk in 1 hour= 3 miles. Not generally used anymore.

deep blue ocean-some facts from f a q-deep blue ocea-

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