1. Until 2000, Earth’s massive global ocean was divided into 4 separate oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic. (Gaul was only divided into 3 parts, y’know.)
2. In 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization added a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude south.
3. The biggest is the Pacific, which measures 64,186,000 square miles; the smallest is the Arctic, which measures 5,106,000 square miles. (Don’t worry, little Arctic; we still love you.)
4. The Pacific is also the deepest, with an average depth of about 15,000 feet; at its deepest point (the Mariana Trench) it goes down 36,200. (now that’s just showing off.)
5. By comparison, the Arctic Ocean (the shallowest) has an average depth of about 3,900 feet and at its deepest point (the Eurasia Basin) is more than 17,000 feet deep.
6. The oceans contain more than 230,000 known species; however, because so much of the oceans are un- or under-explored, it is estimated that perhaps over 2,000,000 may exist in their depths. (Sounds kind of crowded, even for a big place.)
7. Some theorize that both Venus and Mars once had oceans.
8. Most of our rainfall is due to water evaporation from the oceans.
9. In ancient Sanskrit, the Indian Ocean is called “Ratnakara,” which means “maker of gems.” (I’m sure there must be some connection between that and Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean, but I can’t find it.)
10. In Woody Allen’s Radio Days, the leading characters parents are described as being able to argue about absolutely anything – as a demonstration of which, the viewer is treated to a heated debate about whether the Atlantic or Pacific is a better ocean. (Clearly the answer is the Pacific. What? Whaddya mean the Atlantic?!?!)