The Arctic Ocean is big, blue, and cold! But it’s also home to some of the most beautiful animals in the world and is one of the most interesting places on Earth. With that in mind, here are some fun facts about the Arctic Ocean you’ll probably want to wrap up warm for…
1. Where on Earth is the Arctic Ocean?
If you’ve ever mixed up the Arctic Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! The Arctic Ocean is the one on top of the world as we see it; that is to say that it is in the northern hemisphere of the planet.
2. What’s in a name?
The Ancient Greeks named the Arctic Ocean after a constellation they named “Arktos.” Nowadays, we refer to it more as the Great Bear – and, given its inhabitants, it’s a pretty apt name!
3. Big but small… you’ll see what we mean!
Even though it is technically the smallest ocean in the world, the Arctic Ocean is still pretty sizable! It covers an area of about 14.06 million km squared (which equates to over 5.3 million square miles) – in total, it covers less than 3% of the surface of the Earth.
4. Pretty deep stuff!
The maximum depth of the Arctic Ocean is 5,450m, or 17,880 feet. It has an average depth of about 1,200m, 3,953 ft. Better keep in the shallow parts if you’re a novice diver!
5. It’s ice all around!
We all know that the Arctic Ocean is pretty cold, but did you know that it is completely covered in ice from about June to October? And, even out of the coldest season, icebergs and ice packs are commonly seen. That is why ice-breaker ships are so essential! They are there to help guide other ships through the frozen waters.
6. How cold is the Arctic Ocean?
The Arctic Ocean usually holds steady at about 28 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year – it’s definitely not the place you’d probably go to for a leisurely swim!
7. Climate change is causing major problems in the Arctic.
Every year, increasing numbers of ice packs and bergs are melting during the summer. And, fewer and fewer of them are freezing during the winter – it’s a knock-on effect of ongoing global warming.
8. Only the bravest explore here!
Very few people even dreamt of venturing beyond the Arctic Circle! The first noted person to do it was Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian scientist who accomplished this during his North Pole expedition in 1896.
9. There’s actually a thriving community out here.
Although it may not seem like an easy place to live in, many people do build lives and raise families in the Arctic region! Most groups living there are indigenous peoples, such as the Inuit, the Aleut, the Yupik, the Nenets, and the Saami.
10. A sub-zero safari!
Of course, the Arctic Ocean is home to plenty of animals who have adapted to the deep freeze! Animals such as whales, polar bears, seals, and walruses all happily live in the cold waters. If you’re looking for penguins, you’re in the wrong spot – they’re down at the South Pole.
FAQs about the Arctic Ocean
Do you know any fun facts about the Arctic Ocean? Share them in the comments below!