bird’s eye view of the atlantic ocean

47 Amazing Atlantic Ocean Facts

The Atlantic Ocean or the “Sea of Atlas” according to Greek mythology covers approximately one-fifth of Earth’s surface. Second in size to the Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean has for centuries been a vital path of trade and travel.

Stretching from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, the Atlantic Ocean covers an area of more than 41 million square miles with its two basins, the North and the South Atlantic, each with its distinct currents that influence weather around the world. Let’s go with the flow and dive into these interesting facts about the Atlantic Ocean…

  1. The Atlantic was first mentioned in writing back in 450 B.C., and it is believed that Plato, the Greek philosopher, was the one to write it.
  2. “Atlantic” is derived from Greek mythology, which means “Sea of Atlas”. According to Greek mythology, the titan who stood at the edge of the world and carried the heavens on his shoulders due to punishment from Zeus was known as Atlas.
  3. The Atlantic Ocean separates the continents of Europe and Africa to the east from those of North and South America to the west.
  4. The Atlantic has the highest tides of any ocean. The Bay of Fundy, off the coast of Nova Scotia, fills with more water than all of the world’s freshwater rivers combined… every day, and it fills up twice!
  5. Are you impressed yet? In some areas, the water level rises by 53 feet. That’s a 5-story building high!

view of the atlantic ocean from a shore

  1. The Atlantic Ocean covers an estimated 20% of the planet’s surface and 29% of its water surface area! This means the United States could fit into it around 10 times!
  2. Following right behind the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean on earth.
  3. The Bermuda Triangle, the mystical area located between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico, is found in the Atlantic Ocean. The mystery triangle is held responsible for various mysterious shipwrecks and airplane disappearances.
  4. The Atlantic is home to its fair share of icebergs and is responsible for sinking the Titanic. Icebergs can be commonly found in the Davis Strait, Denmark Strait and the northwestern Atlantic from between February to August. They can even be found as far south as Bermuda!
  5. 3,646 meters (11, 962 feet) is the average depth of the Atlantic Ocean. The Puerto Rico Trench is home to the greatest depth (8,486 meters or 27,841 feet).
  1. Great Britain, Ireland and Cuba are some of the largest islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. The largest island in the world, Greenland is also located in the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. The Atlantic Ocean is incredibly deep. The Milwaukee Deep, located off the coast of Puerto Rico is the deepest portion of water. Waters here reach down an average of 10,955-feet.
  4. Florida has the largest amount of coastal land bordering the Atlantic Ocean than any other US state.
  5. According to ISAF, Florida’s New Smyrna Beach is officially known as the “shark attack capital of the world”.

Atlantic Ocean Facts

  1. In 1928, Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the great ocean.
  2. On the topic of flight, Charles Lindbergh was the first person to fly a non-stop transatlantic flight in an airplane in 1927.
  3. The Great Eastern, the largest ship back in 1866, was the first to lay a successful telegraph cable under the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. The Atlantic is the last resting place of the RMS Titanic, which sank after striking an iceberg on 14th April 1912.
  5. The Atlantic is home to a wide variety of sea life. National Geographic published pictures back in 2018 after a deep-sea dive that showcased a wide diversity of fish, corals and mollusks that were found at more than 3,000 feet under the sea.
  6. It’s believed that the Atlantic Ocean separated from the Pacific Ocean about 3 million years ago.

fun facts about the Atlantic

  1. The Atlantic was the first ocean to ever be crossed by ship and flown over by plane.
  2. The Cunard Line was the first ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean with passengers on board in the 1850s.
  3. Diamonds can be found within the sea bed off the coast of southern Africa.
  4. There is an entire mountain range buried beneath the Atlantic Ocean, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. You can see these underwater mountain formations on satellite imagery.
  5. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the longest mountain range on the planet, measuring four times the length of other major mountain ranges including the Andes and the Himalayas.

facts about the atlantic ocean

  1. The huge waves and strong winds in the South Atlantic are referred to as the “Roaring Forties”.
  2. The Atlantic Ocean doesn’t sit still, it moves more like a conveyer belt that’s driven by changes in temperature and salinity over large areas.
  3. Warm water is heated by the Gulf Stream, a warm air current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. The warm water of the Atlantic Ocean moves north, where it forces cooler water to sink and move south. As the current moves toward Antarctica, the flow pushes cold water back to the surface, pushing the watery conveyer belt around the world.
  5. Scientists estimate that it takes the conveyer belt about 500 years to make one trip.

atlantic ocean facts

  1. Because of the warm Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, Northern European ports are usually kept free of ice.
  2. Oil, fish, sand and gravel, placer deposits, natural gas, and precious stones are just some of the natural resources found in the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. The Atlantic Ocean is home to a variety of sea life, at the surface, and those hidden from human eyes.
  4. The coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have been extinct for 60 million years was caught live in the Atlantic Ocean in 1938.
  5. Many other well-known species live in the Atlantic, from lobster to crabs and dolphins to sea turtles.

fun facts about the atlantic ocean

  1. Scientists have discovered that Great White shark populations are growing in U.S. waters. Recent studies are showing Great Whites may be found farther north near Maine and even as far north as New Brunswick, Canada.
  2. There are just over 400 North Atlantic Right Whales in the wild, as they’re steadily heading toward extinction.
  3. This North Atlantic whale earned its name in the early 20th century from hunters who considered it the “right” whale to catch.
  4. A study has shown that some fish populations in the Atlantic have grown while others have shrunk in warming waters.
  5. As part of the Atlantic, Northern Europe’s North Sea has seen many fisheries shrink as a result of warming waters and overfishing, while certain fisheries off the coast of New England have grown.

interesting facts about the atlantic ocean

  1. Scientists are quickly trying to understand how our warming atmosphere is changing the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. Instruments anchored in the Caribbean have noticed that the Atlantic’s massive ocean circulation system is slowing down.
  3. Scientists are worried that if cold Arctic waters become warmer, the temperature difference will not be enough to drive ocean circulation at the same rate it has been moving.
  4. A change to the rate of circulation could affect summers, winters, and natural disasters, from the U.S. to Europe, because the ocean’s conveyer belt influences weather over the landmasses bordering the Atlantic.
  5. It’s still debatable why the Atlantic Ocean’s currents may be slowing. Some scientists believe it’s due to climate change and melting glaciers while others argue it is cyclical.
  6. Published research during the active Atlantic hurricane season suggests that storms will become more intense, wetter, and slower as the atmosphere continues to warm.

Do you know any amazing facts about the Atlantic Ocean that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!

And if you want to dive deeper into oceans, check out these incredible facts about the Indian Ocean

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