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20 Interesting Facts About the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is one of the largest oceans in the world and is one of the three natural bodies of water of the Indian peninsula. In this guide, we will walk you through a list of 20 interesting facts about the Indian ocean! You might think that it is nothing more than a gigantic body of water, but we’re here to tell you that there is more to it than what meets the eye. Make sure you read all the way to the end to learn more about this magnificent ocean!  

Also Read: Pacific Ocean Facts for Kids

20 Interesting Facts About the Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean Basic Information 


The Indian Ocean’s official name is, at present, the Indian Ocean. However, explorers and researchers referred to the ocean as Oceanus Orientalis Indicus, which translates to “Indian Eastern Ocean.”


Indian Ocean - Location

The Indian ocean is located in South Asia, Australia, Southeast Asia, Northeast, East and Southern Africa, and Western Asia. 


The Indian Ocean’s coordinates are 33.1376° S and 81.8262° E

Total Surface Area

The total surface area of the Indian Ocean is 70.56 million km²

Max Length

The maximum length of the Indian ocean is 9,600 km or 6,000 miles, stretching from Antarctica to the Bay of Bengal.

Max Width: 

The maximum with of the Indian ocean is 7,600 km or 4,700 miles, stretching from Africa to Australia. 

Average Depth: 

The Indian ocean’s average depth is around 12,274 feet or 3,741 meters. 

Max Depth:

The maximum depth of the Indian Ocean is around 8,047 meters. 

Shore Length:

Its shore length is around 66,526 km or 41,337 miles. 

Also Read: Interesting facts about the Southern Ocean

Facts About Indian Ocean  

The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world. 

After the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Indian ocean is one of the largest oceans in the world, covering 20% or one-fifth of the Earth’s surface. Its boundaries include Australia in the east, Africa in the west, and Asia in the north. The Indian Ocean also has a few seas around its borders; these include the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, the Andaman Sea, and the Somali Sea. 

The deepest point in the Indian Ocean is near Indonesia. 

deepest point in the Indian Ocean

Since the earth’s surface is irregularly shaped, it is safe to assume that the depths of various oceans differ in several spots. When it comes to the Indian ocean, we’ve learned that its deepest point is located near Indonesia. It is called the Sunda Trench, and it is near an island called Sumatra, belonging to Indonesia. This trench is nearly 24,000 feet deep

There are several islands in the Indian Ocean. 

Since this ocean is bordered by multiple continents and has many seas, there are also many islands in the Indian Ocean! Some of them are: 

The Maldives
  • Île Saint-Paul
  • Diego Garcia
  • Mafia Island
  • Grande Terre
  • The Maldives
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands 
  • Pemba Island 

The Indian Ocean remains warm throughout the year! 

This is because the Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. Unlike the Arctic ocean, which is the coldest ocean in the world, the Indian Ocean remains warm all the time, and its temperatures range from around 66 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit

The Indian Ocean is home to many different kinds of marine life. 

Australian sea lions
Australian sea lions

Researchers have discovered that the Indian ocean is home to many marine creatures.  These include Australian sea lions, green sea turtles, blue whales, Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, sperm whales, Olive Ridley sea turtles, and fin whales. Additionally, during the summer, the Indian Ocean houses a massive concentration of phytoplankton. 

Many ecosystems exist in and around the Indian Ocean. 

coral reefs
Coral Reefs

These ecosystems include mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds. Some of these ecosystems are responsible for producing fish for consumption!

The Indian Ocean is connected to different waterways. 

Suez Canal

These waterways include the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, the Strait of Malacca, and the Bab el Madeb. 

Also Read: Types of Terrain Found Worldwide

The Indian Ocean has an underwater mountain range. 

It might surprise you to learn that underwater mountain ranges aren’t uncommon in oceans. The Indian Ocean is home to an underwater mountain range called the Ninety East Ridge. This range is what divides the East and West Indian Oceans from one another. 

Climate change is causing the Indian Ocean to widen. 

It’s no secret that climate change is causing the icecaps to melt rapidly and flood into the seas and oceans. As a result of climate change, the Indian Ocean widens by about 20 centimeters every year. 

The Indian Ocean is home to several trading ports. 

trading ports

Trade has played an essential role in the global economy for several centuries now. The Indian Ocean has contributed to the economy thanks to the fact that it is home to multiple trading ports. These include Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai in India, Melbourne in Australia, Jakarta in Indonesia, and Durban and Richards Bay in Australia. 

The monsoon controls the Indian Ocean’s currents. 

One of the most fascinating facts about the Indian ocean is that the monsoon is what controls its currents. This means that two gyres, which are systems that regulate ocean currents, control the flow of the currents. As a result, it is during the monsoon season that the wind and circulation of the ocean are altered. 

The Indian Ocean is home to some of the largest submarine fans in the world. 

These fans include the Indus Fan and the Bengal Fan. A submarine fan is an underwater geological formation. Turbidity currents form it. 

The Indian Ocean is the second most polluted Ocean in the world. 

polluted Ocean

A recent study has discovered that the Indian Ocean gets polluted with more than 14 million tons of plastic and waste. The waste often consists of plastic straws, bags, shoes, and various other pieces of garbage. As a result, researchers have concluded that more than a trillion pieces of plastic waste make their way into the Indian ocean, affecting marine life and saltwater quality. It also receives a lot of pollution in the form of oil spills in regions around the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea. 

This Ocean is home to 25% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. 

One of the most remarkable features of the Indian Ocean is that nine out of 36 biodiversity hotspots are situated along the Indian Ocean! Some examples of these hotspots include Madagascar and islands like Réunion, the Seychelles Islands, Comoros, Rodrigues, Mauritius, and Socotra. It also consists of the Horn of Africa, Sundaland, Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany, and Southwest Australia. 

Vasco da Gama discovered the Indian Ocean. 

Even though sailors, merchants, and explorers traveled through the Indian Ocean for many decades before it was discovered, Vasco da Gama formally found it in 1497.

Over 80% of the world’s oil trade takes place through the Indian Ocean. 

Since this ocean is one of the largest in the world, it plays a critical role in trading and commerce and contributes to the larger global economy. Over 80% of the world’s oil trade happens through the Indian Ocean because it connects to the Middle East, Eastern Asia, and Africa while also connecting to Europe, North America, and South America. 

Researchers formally explored the Indian Ocean in the 1960s. 

Even though Vasco da Gama discovered the Indian Ocean in 1497, it took several centuries for the Indian Ocean to be explored. It was only in 1959 that the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE) took place, and researchers studied the ocean. 

Multiple new creatures have been discovered in the Indian Ocean. 

In 2016, researchers discovered some new creatures in the Southwestern Indian Ridge. These creatures included a giant peltospirid snail, a scale worm, a polychaete worm,  a whelk-like snail,  a limpet, and a Hoff crab. 

Half the world’s population of mangroves is located in the Indian Ocean. 


Mangroves cover 31,268 square miles in the Indian Ocean. They are located in East Nusa Tenggara, which is in Indonesia. 

  1. The Indian Ocean is the most complex ocean in the world. 

It is the most complex ocean in the world due to a variety of factors that include rising sea levels, unique biodiversity, marine life, and biodiversity. 

Also Read: Global Warming & Climate Change Facts


In this article, we took you through a list of interesting facts about the Indian Ocean. Even though it might seem like it is something that borders the southern region of India, this ocean is complex, vast, and infinitely interesting to learn about. Our list of facts included information about marine life, how this ocean was discovered, and why it is so unique. Learning about geography is fun and fulfilling, and we hope that you continue to read about this ocean.