20 Interesting Facts About the Atlantic Ocean
For hundreds of centuries, oceans have helped humans sail across the world. Oceans separate continents while also connecting them in several ways. One ocean that is worth mentioning is The Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is an enormous body of water. It is essentially a body of saltwater. It is the second-largest ocean in the world. It covers over 20% of the earth’s surface. The Atlantic ocean is S-shaped and narrow in length. It is also the second-youngest ocean in the world.
The Atlantic coast in America has some of the most beautiful beaches and trenches that will leave you in awe! Want to know more interesting facts about the Atlantic Ocean? If yes, then read on!
Atlantic Ocean Basic Information
The Atlantic Ocean’s name was derived from Greek Mythology. It means “Sea of Atlas.” The Histories of Herodotus first mentioned this name in 450 BC.
The Atlantic Ocean lies between North America and South America in the west. It also lies between Europe and Africa in the east. The Atlantic connects the Arctic Ocean to the Southern Ocean in the north. This ocean is divided into two basins: the North Atlantic and South Atlantic.
The coordinates for the Atlantic Ocean are 14.5994° S, 28.6731° W.
Total Surface Area
The total surface area of the Atlantic Ocean is 106.5 million km². It covers over 20% of the earth’s surface! Massive, isn’t it?
The maximum length of the Atlantic Ocean is 111,866 km.
The width of the Atlantic Ocean varies differently. It is around 2,848 kilometers between Brazil and Liberia. Between the United States and North Africa, it is around 4,830 kilometers.
The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is around 11,962 feet.
The max depth of the Atlantic Ocean is around 27,493 feet.
The shore length of the Atlantic Ocean is 111,866 km.
Facts about the Atlantic Ocean
1. The Atlantic Ocean is connected to all the other oceans
Other oceans are all connected with the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic connected the Arctic Ocean to the north. It borders the Antarctic ocean to the south. It is also connected to the Indian Ocean from the southeast. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean on the southwest side.
2. The Atlantic Ocean has the largest drainage area
Some of the world’s largest rivers feed the Atlantic Ocean. Rivers like the Amazon, Mississippi, Niger, and Congo flow into the Baltic and Mediterranean seas. These seas eventually flow and drain into the Atlantic Ocean.
Also Read: Pacific Ocean Facts
3. Its name comes from Greek Mythology
The word “Atlantikos” or “Atlantic” comes from a Greek word. It means the “Sea of the Atlas.” Atlas was the head of the Titans in Greek Mythology. He had waged war against the Olympians and lost the battle. This led to the Greek god Zeus punishing him. Stesichorus was the first Greek poet who used the word “Atlantic” in 600 BC. In writing, the Histories of Herodotus first mentioned this name in 450 BC.
4. It is the final resting place of the Titanic
A massive North Atlantic Iceberg hit the RMS Titanic on 14th April 1912. The ship hit the iceberg. This destroyed parts of the starboard and six watertight compartments. The ship sunk into the Atlantic after a few hours. Around 1,500 people died in this shipwreck.
5. It is the first ocean to be crossed by a plane
Three US Navy flying boats set out from the seas outside of New York City in May 1919. These flying boats set out with a goal in mind. They wished to fly across the Atlantic ocean. This was something that no other aircraft had ever done before. This goal made the Atlantic ocean to be the first ocean to be crossed by a plane. Out of the three flying boats, only one of them completed the journey.
6. The Bermuda Triangle is in the Atlantic Ocean
We have all read mysterious and terrifying stories about the Bermuda triangle. This mysterious place is located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Peurto Rico. There have been several stories about the Bermuda Triangle. Over 50 ships and 20 planes have gone missing in this area. However, the Bermuda Triangle remains to be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
7. The Atlantic Ocean is about 150 years old
The earth was only one massive chunk of landmass hundreds of millions of years ago. This landmass was called Pangea. In this period of time, the Atlantic ocean did not exist at all! The Pangea began to break apart around 180 million years ago. This was when the landmasses of the western and easter hemisphere floated apart. This led to the creation of the Atlantic Ocean basin. This basin got filled up with water over time.
8. The Atlantic Ocean has large islands
9. The Atlantic Ocean has fewer islands
Even though the Atlantic Ocean has some of the largest islands, the number is less. The Pacific Ocean has the most number of islands. It has around 25,000 islands in total.
10. One section of the Atlantic Ocean is called “Iceberg Alley.”
A section of the northwestern Atlantic is called the “Iceberg Alley.” This is because there are a significant number of icebergs in this section of the ocean. These icebergs are a threat to the ships that travel in this part of the ocean. After they break off from the Arctic Glacier, they drift off to the North Atlantic Ocean.
11. The Atlantic Ocean contains precious minerals
Yes, you heard that right! The Atlantic Ocean contains a lot of precious stones and minerals. Along the coast of South Africa, there are diamonds and other precious stones. In 2017, a diamond mining company extracted over 1.378 million carats of diamond. Sediments are sucked off from the ocean floor on a daily basis. This is done with the help of crawler ships.
Also Read: Interesting facts about the Southern Ocean
12. The Atlantic Ocean has a rich marine life
The Atlantic Ocean is home to vibrant and rich marine life. Sadly, a lot of these species are already going extinct. Some of these species include Sea Lions, Humpback Whales, Green Sea Turtles, Dolphins, auks, etc. There are several reasons why these species are going extinct. Industrial pollution, hunting, and sea mining are some of the reasons.
13. The Atlantic Ocean has a lot of natural wealth
The Atlantic Ocean is a massive natural resource reserve. Oil, gas, aragonite sands and gravel are some examples. You will find precious gems, polymetallic nodules, placer deposits, and fish. However, the economic activity centered on these resources is growing. This has been shown to be highly harmful to the ocean’s diverse marine habitat.
14. The Atlantic Ocean has the highest tide
The Atlantic Ocean gets the highest tide compared to other oceans in the world. The highest tidal range can be found in the Bay of Fundy. This place is located off the coast of Nova Scotia. The tide here goes up to 52 ft. The average for tides around the world is 3 ft 3 inches.
15. The Atlantic Ocean has the second largest barrier reef
The Cancun Reef is known to be the second-largest barrier reef. This reef is located in the Atlantic Ocean. This barrier reef is found off the coast of Mexico.
16. The basin of the Atlantic Ocean widens every year
This is a very interesting fact about the Atlantic Ocean. The basin of the Atlantic Ocean wides by about 4 inches or 10 centimeters every year. The widening range is approximately 1 inch.
17. The Atlantic Ocean has the busiest sea routes
The Atlantic Ocean is one of the busiest sea routes in the world. This is due to the trade relations between the US, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. These countries import and export materials in large numbers and on a daily basis. Hence, the Atlantic Ocean is important for trade.
18. The Atlantic Ocean has an underwater mountain range
The mid-Atlantic ridge is a mountain range that is located under the Atlantic Ocean. It is a section of the most extended mountain range in the world. It reaches to a height of 6,000–13,000 feet above sea level. It has a range of 10,000 miles.
19. The Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest ocean
Among all the oceans in the world, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest. The Antarctic ice sheet and global mountain ranges cause these high salinity levels.
20. The Atlantic Ocean played a massive role in creating inter-continental communication
In the history of transatlantic communications, the Atlantic Ocean played a crucial role. In 1866, the first telegraph cables were laid onto the sea bed of the Atlantic. This aided in connecting Europe to North America through communication. During that time, the telegraph was the quickest mode of communication.
There are several interesting facts about the Atlantic Ocean that we still do not know. Scientists continue to study this ocean and give us more information. The ocean is a vast and wonderful space. It is home to several aquatic animals. However, overfishing, pollution, and mining are ruining our oceans. These activities are reducing the beauty of the ocean. It is also killing its rich aquatic life. We can do a lot more to protect our ocean and its beautiful habitats.
We hope that these facts on The Atlantic ocean have deepened your interest in its beauty.