The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest body of saltwater on Earth. It stretches from the Antarctic to the Arctic, between Asia and Australia, and North and South America.
To get a feel of just how vast the Pacific Ocean is, you could put all of Earth’s landforms together, and the Pacific would still be bigger. In other words, the Pacific Ocean occupies about a third of the globe’s surface. For the researcher in you, we’ve prepared some interesting facts about the Pacific Ocean that’ll help you explore this massive, deep, and unique body of water…
The Pacific Ocean is divided into the North Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean by the Equator.
The ocean only looks blue because of the angle of the sunlight scattering off it combined with the depth of the water.
Shark proof cables are laid all over the Pacific’s ocean floor to help carry the internet and other electronic communications technology all over the world.
There are depths of the Pacific Ocean that are so deep you could fit Mount Everest inside of them.
Krill are the most abundant creatures in the ocean — and anywhere on Earth for that matter!
The pressure at the bottom is an incredible 8,000 psi and would crush you instantly.
You can get rivers and lakes under the ocean’s surface, and we’re not even making this up!
Experts estimate there is 20 million tonnes of gold diluted throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Think you can go fishing for it? There’s only 13 billionths of a gram per litre of sea water…
More people have landed on the Moon than have explored the deepest depths of the ocean.
You can even get underwater waterfalls if you really want to blow your mind!
We discover an amazing 2000 new species every year, that’s more than 5 a day!
The ocean got its name from Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese explorer.
In 1520 as Magellan sailed through a calm patch of water he experienced favourable winds upon reaching the ocean, naming it “Mar Pacifico,” or “peaceful sea” in Portuguese.
The surface area of the Pacific is an incredible 59 million square miles.
Much of the Pacific Ocean is still waiting to be studied, but human activities like industrial fishing, deep-sea mining, and fossil-fuel burning are already changing it substantially.
The Pacific Ocean is home to some of the most unique life forms on Earth and contains the deepest reaches known to humankind.
The Pacific Ocean is the biggest of the world’s five oceans followed by the Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and the Arctic Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean’s area, without the adjacent seas, covers about 63.8 million square miles (165.25 million square km).
The Pacific Ocean makes up about 46% of the water surface area.
The Pacific Ocean contains half of the world’s free water and is by far the world’s largest ocean basin.
The Pacific Ocean is also the world’s deepest ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean is cut across by a deep trench.
The Mariana Trench is among these trenches, where you can find Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the world with a depth of 10,984 meters (36,037 feet).
In 1960, humans descended into the Challenger Deep inside a U.S. Navy submersible, and James Cameron made a solo trip in 2012.
In January 2009, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument was established through a presidential declaration under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906.
4,000 meters (13,000 feet) is the average depth of the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean is shrinking as a result of plate tectonics by roughly 0.5 km2 per year for the last 180 million years as the plates move towards one another.
In an area in the Pacific Ocean called the “Ring of Fire” are most of the world’s active volcanoes, located underwater.
From the South America’s southern point, along the west shoreline of North America, across the Bering Strait, down through Japan, and into New Zealand, more than 450 volcanoes expanse for 40,250 kilometres (25,000 miles) creating a u-shape.
The Ring of Fire is also an area of frequent earthquakes with 90% of the world’s earthquakes happening in this area.
A humpback whale, breaching
The large circular currents in the ocean called gyres have made the Pacific Ocean the most polluted ocean in the world.
The North Pacific Gyre is home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an enormous build-up of marine debris and trash that flows in two individual zones.
The Pacific Ocean holds almost two trillion pieces of plastic, about a third of all plastic pollution in the world’s oceans according to a study from 2014.
The Pacific Ocean is home to Point Nemo, a pole of remoteness that marks the farthest location from the ocean to the nearest coastline. Point Nemo got its name from Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo who wanders the oceans in his submarine.
The Pacific Ocean is a spacecraft cemetery where the satellites and spacecraft end up after being removed from orbit.
The left-over debris as satellites fall back to Earth, after burning up upon re-entry, is dug in deep within an isolated location in the Pacific Area.
Statue of Jules Verne, Nantes, France
When a satellite is prepared to be removed from orbit, engineers point it in a controlled deorbit so it enters the Earth’s atmosphere over this isolated location in the Pacific Ocean.
This process is only used for satellites that can cause damage greater than 1 in 10,000. The other satellites when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere are left to burn up and disintegrate into tiny pieces.
Located near Point Nemo, this spacecraft cemetery has over 161 pieces of debris including the Russian Mir space station.
The Pacific Ocean is also home to the White Shark Café, a distant location off the coast of Baja California. Researchers are still trying to figure out why these sharks hang out there.
Temperatures vary massively within the Pacific Ocean. The water’s temperatures become warmer closer to the equator. Water near the poles reaches freezing point!
The Pacific Ocean is home to most of the world’s islands, a staggering number of more than 25,000.
The Pacific Ocean also boasts of many Atolls. Atolls are coral islands surrounded by a lagoon. These coral islands can only be found in warm tropical ocean waters.
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is also situated in the Pacific Ocean. This reef stretches more than 1,429 miles, and it’s the largest in the world. This significant area is now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Pacific Ocean creates some of the toughest hurricanes ever seen.
In 2018, Super Typhoon Mangkhut was a catastrophic and devastating storm that hit the Philippines and Guam before dispersing over mainland China. At its strongest, the storm’s winds exceeded 165 miles per hour, uprooting trees, destroying homes, and causing deadly mudslides.
Point Nemo lies 1,000 miles from its nearest neighboring land mass which means it’s not only the most remote place on Earth, astronauts will typically be closer to any inhabits than anyone down there on Earth.
Marine plants under the water release 70% of the oxygen that makes up our atmosphere.
80% of all volcanic eruptions take place underwater with water temperatures reaching hundreds of degrees.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about the Pacific Ocean that we missed? Share them here in the comments section below!