World Ocean Map

Map of World Ocean
World Ocean Map

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World Ocean Map 2013

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This map shows the location of all the oceans and other major water bodies.

Oceans play an integral role in many of the Earth's systems. The ocean supports the life of nearly half of all species on Earth, providing 20 percent of the animal protein and five percent of the total protein in the human diet.

Though there generally are considered to be four different oceans, there are no physical divisions separating them, thus the water flowing through them is the same. The five major oceans on Earth are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Southern Ocean.

The Pacific Ocean, the Earth's largest ocean, flows to the west of the Americas and along the eastern edge of Asia. The Pacific Ocean is sometimes divided into the North Pacific and the South Pacific. The Atlantic Ocean is between the Americas and Europe and Africa, and like the Pacific, the Atlantic is also sometimes divided into the North and South Atlantic.

The Indian Ocean is situated below the Indian subcontinent, to the east of Africa and the west of Australia and the islands like Malaysia and Indonesia. The Arctic Ocean is around the north pole, and is the shallowest ocean of all - sometimes considered a sea rather than an ocean. The Arctic is encompassed primarily by North America and Russia, and its waters are partially covered by ice year-round. The International Hydrographic Organization designated the waters surrounding Antarctica to be the Southern Ocean in the year 2000, extending to the latitude of 60 degrees.

The oceans of Earth serve many functions, playing an integral role in the Earth's weather and temperature. Oceans moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation. The continuously moving ocean currents distribute the heat energy around the globe, heating the land and air during winter cooling it during summer.

OceanAreaAverage DepthDeepest Point
Pacific64,186,000 square miles15,315 feetMariana Trench (36,200 feet below sea level)
Atlantic33,420,000 square miles12,881 feetPuerto Rico Trench (28,231 feet below sea level)
Indian28,350,000 square miles13,002 feetJava Trench (25,344 feet below sea level)
Southern7,848,300 square miles13,100-16,400 feetSouth Sandwich Trench (23,736 feet below sea level)
Arctic5,106,000 square miles3,953 feetEurasia Basin (17,881 feet below sea level)

Ocean Facts
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the four main oceans
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the busiest ocean. Many ships cross the Atlantic, carrying cargo between the Americas, Africa, and Europe
  • The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and coldest ocean
  • The average temperature of all oceans is about 39 degrees F (3.8 degrees C)
  • Oceans are always moving
  • Tides change twice a day all over the world, as the oceans rise and fall along the shoreline. Scientists think this is caused by the pull of the sun and moon on our Earth, and the Earth's rotation.
  • Coral reefs are vast, rocky areas located in shallow, tropical waters. Coral reefs are like the tropical rain forest of the ocean in that the greatest variety of plant and animal life in the ocean live there. Coral reefs are formed from the bodies of small sea creatures called polyps
  • The world's oceans contain nearly 20 million tons of gold

Major Water Bodies
Top ten longest riversMiles
Amazon (South America) 4,345
Nile (Africa)4,258
Yangtze (Asia)3,917
Mississippi-Missouri (North America)3,902
Yenisey-Angara (Asia) 3,445
Yellow (Asia) 3,395
Ob-Irtysh (Asia)3,364
Paraná–Río de la Plata3,030
Congo (Africa)2,922

Top ten largest natural lakes by surface area (square miles)
Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan)143,000
Lake Superior (Canada, United States)31,700
Lake Victoria (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda)26,590
Lake Huron (Canada, United States)23,000
Lake Michigan (United States)22,000
Lake Tanganyika (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia)12,600
Lake Baikal (Russia)12,200
Great Bear Lake (Canada) 12,000
Lake Nyasa (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania)11,400
Great Slave Lake (Canada) 10,000

Based on average annual total discharge
RankNameAverage annual total discharge (km3/year)
1Amazon6 923
2Ganges1 386
3Congo1 320
4Orinoco1 007
5Yangtze1 006
6La Plata811
15St. Lawrence*318
Source: Adapted from World Water Resources and Their Uses, Joint SHI/UNESCO Product, prepared by Prof. Igor A. Shiklomanov, 1999.

Last Updated on: September 24, 2020

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