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60 Fascinating Ocean Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

The ocean is an amazing place that many of us take for granted. The more people learn about it the more they care about and want to take care of it.

There are a lot more than 60 facts that I could list as the ocean is a very mysterious and unexplored place. Between the wildlife, the water, and the depths there are endless facts. Here are the 60 most exciting facts about the ocean.

Landscape of Surin Islands

Did you know...

  1. At least half of Earth’s oxygen comes from the ocean.
  2. Prochlorococcus, is the smallest photosynthetic organism on Earth but but produces up to 20% of the oxygen in our entire biosphere. That’s a larger percentage than all of the tropical rainforests.
  3. Oceanic Manta Ray (Mobula birostris) can grow to have a wingspan of up to 23 ft (7m).
  4. Mobulid Rays are born into a life of perpetual motion, if they stop moving they will do, as they must keep water flowing over their gills to breathe.
  5. Around 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by oceans and oceans hold about 96.5% of all water on Earth.
Scuba diving liveaboard floating on the water
  1. The largest ocean on Earth is the Pacific Ocean, covering around 30% of the Earth’s surface.
  2. The deepest known area of the Earth’s oceans is known as the Mariana Trench. Its deepest point measures 6 and a half miles (11km).
  3. The name “Pacific Ocean” comes from the Latin name Tepre Pacificum, “peaceful sea”.
  4. The longest mountain range in the world is found underwater. It is over 34,000 miles (56,000km), the Mid-Oceanic Ridge is a mountain chain that runs along the center of the ocean basins.
  5. Seasickness comes from a disturbance between the inner ear and the irregular motion of an ocean.
Looking up at the sun from underwater
  1. The first sharks lived more than 400 million years ago that is 200 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared.
  2. Sharks don’t get cavities because they are constantly shedding teeth. Sharks have 40 to 45 teeth and can be up to seven rows of replacement teeth behind them.
  3. Sharks can go through more than 30,000 teeth in their lifetime. Newer teeth are always larger.
  4. Palm trees have adapted so their long, bare trunks are made to live on the shore and survive tsunamis.
  5. When a porcupine fish is inflated it can reach a diameter of up to 35 inches (90 cm). It puffs up by swallowing water and then storing it in its stomach.
inflated spotted porcupine fish
  1. The average depth of the ocean is about 12,100 feet (3,688m).
  2. The deepest part of the ocean is called the Challenger Deep and is located at the southern end of the Mariana Trench.
  3. Sand is made from many things, including decomposed rocks, organic by-products, and even fish poop.
  4. The ocean grows bamboo, Atlantic Sea Bamboo can grow up to 25ft (8m) in offshore kelp forests.
  5. Most places have 2 high and low tides but these highs and lows usually aren’t equal. Some places have one high tide and one low tide per day though.
looking up at an underwater Kelp Forest
  1. Ecoforecasts are like weather forecasts. They try to explain how interactions between organisms and their environment may affect economies and communities that depend on ecosystem services, human health, and the health of water bodies.
  2. Oil seeps come from the seafloor and are the largest source of oil entering the world ocean. They account for nearly half of the oil released into the ocean environment every year.
  3. The ocean has gold and a lot of it but it is too diluted to get at. One study found there is only about one gram of gold for every 100 million tons of ocean water in the Atlantic and north Pacific.
  4. An average large iceberg contains more than 20 billion gallons of water. That is enough for one million people over five years.
  5. There are about 500 species of shark. Don’t be afraid though, only 36 are considered potentially dangerous for humans.
a plethora of underwater sea life including a whale shark
  1. Undersea Cables Transport 99% of International Data.
  2. When telegraphs were used, British companies would lay undersea cables in China in the middle of the night because the government didn’t approve of them.
  3. In the deepest part of the ocean, tsunami waves are often only 1 to 3 feet (.3 to 1m) tall, you could be on a boat and not even notice.
  4. In the U.S. the states that are at the greatest risk for tsunamis are Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.
  5. Sound travels about four times faster in water than in air. The reason for this is that water particles are denser and thus carry sound faster than air.
landscape of Hawaiian coastline
  1. More than 80% of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored.
  2. Jellyfish have been around for more than half a billion years, horseshoe crabs are almost the same.
  3. The Arctic Ocean is almost completely covered in ice water during the winter.
  4. Approximately 94% of the life on earth is made up of aquatic life forms.
  5. We have explored less than 5% of the oceans on earth.
Scuba diver photographing coral reef in Egypt
  1. There are underwater hot springs in the ocean that can shoot water as hot as 650 degrees F (345C).
  2. The largest living structure on earth is the Great Barrier Reef. It has around 400 species of coral and can be seen from space.
  3. There are around 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean alone.
  4. The combined area of the world’s oceans encompasses 139 million square miles (360 sq kilometers).
  5. The oceans on earth, in order from smallest to largest include the Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and then the Pacific Ocean.
Great Barrier Reef
  1. Less than 3% of the water on earth is freshwater and the rest is saltwater.
  2. Water absorbs the longer red and orange wavelengths of light while reflecting blue light back. This only happens in large bodies of water, this is why it looks blue.
  3. Herbert Nietzsche once freedove 831 feet (253m) down into the ocean on a single breath.
  4. The biggest waterfall in the world is underwater. It’s this type of dense water that forms the Denmark Strait, a massive cascade of water that plummets 11,500 feet (3,500m) which is more than three times the height of Angel Falls.
  5. “Point Nemo.” is a spot in the Pacific that you’re closer to space than anywhere on Earth. This unique spot is the farthest on the entire planet from land.
close up of Nudibranch at Night
  1. A rubber duck accident helped researchers understand ocean currents. In 1992, a crate of bath toys broke, spilling thousands of rubber ducks and other floating toys into the Pacific.
  2. Special nudibranchs called Marie Antionettes guillotine themselves so that they could regrow their bodies.
  3. Narwals only have two teeth. One the super large, a super-sensitive tooth that can help stun their prey.
  4. The Pistol Shrimp can create bubbles that can fly out at 60 miles per hour (100kph), which is fast enough to kill or stun their prey.
  5. The jellyfish called Turritopsis dohrnii is also called the immortal jellyfish because it can revert to a younger polyp form after fully growing.
close up of Pistol Shrimp
  1. The tuna have no natural predators. The larger fish eat other smaller fish as tuna are too fast and illusive.
  2. Mermaids came from the Sirens of Green myth, whose enchanting songs attracted sailors to their death.
  3. Pisces is Latin for “fishes” which is also the name of a constellation viewed by ancient astronomers as a pair of fishes connected by a cord.
  4. Giant kelp is common along the coast of the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Baja California north to southeast Alaska. It can grow up to 150 feet (45M) long.
  5. The whole U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, measures 3.797 million square miles. The Antarctic ice sheet is 5.4 million square miles, it makes up the entire continent of Antarctica.
spearfisher with a large fish
  1. Looking at fossil records you can see that fishes have been around for over 500 million years, beginning with the Cambrian Explosion.
  2. Fish can’t just stay in the sun, they need shelter or a way to move deeper underwater so they don’t get sunburn.
  3. The deepest fish habitat is the hadal zone located 20,000 to 36,000 feet (6,000 to 11,000 m) below sea level.
  4. Most fish don’t have eyelids, and can’t blink.
  5. The orange roughy can live for up to 150 years, putting it up there as one of the longest-living fish.
  6. The biggest fish in the world is the whale shark. Adults can reach 50 feet (15 m) in length and weigh several tons.

Get Out and See the Seas

After reading all these fantastic facts I know you are ready to explore more. You can see a lot of these creatures and places on your own or on a tour. I hope that you are already a diver but if not you should be.

What Do I Need to Dive?

We Really Need the Ocean.
It is not just fun to learn about these things, we really need the seas and to take care of them.

volunteers at a beach cleanup
  1. NOAA. 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ocean-oxygen.html
  2. NOAA 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/seasickness.html
  3. NOAA 2022 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceandepth.html
  4. NOAA 2022 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sand.html
  5. NOAA 2022 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/high-tide.html
  6. NOAA 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ecoforecasting.html
  7. NOAA 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ecoforecasting.html
  8. NOAA 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/gold.html
  9. NOAA 2021 https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/exploration.html
  10. The Manta Trust mantatrust.org
  11. https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/geography/general-geography/ocean-facts/
  12. Parker, Steve. Angelfish, Megamouth Sharks, & Other Fish (Animal Kingdom Classification). Minneapolis, MN: David West Children’s Book, 2005.
  13. Sharks and Other Scary Sea Creatures. New York: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2002.
  14. www.iceberg.world
  15. https://www.newsweek.com/undersea-cables-transport-99-percent-international-communications-319072
  16. National History Museum of Utah https://nhmu.utah.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/Tsunami%20FAQs.pdf
  17. https://www.softschools.com/facts/geography/oceans_facts/834/
  18. https://www.rd.com/list/fascinating-ocean-facts/
  19. https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2019/07/01/immortal-jellyfish-lives-name/
  20. https://oceanconservancy.org/blog/2020/09/10/pistol-shrimp/
  21. https://efishkeeping.com/can-fish-swim-backwards/
  22. https://www.thoughtco.com/essential-facts-about-fish-4096595
  23. https://thefishsite.com/articles/10-fun-facts-about-fish
  24. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/19/biologists-record-the-machine-gun-sound-of-the-loudest-known-fish/
  25. https://fishingbooker.com/blog/7-fish-facts-you-wont-believe/
  26. https://animalcorner.org/fish-facts/
  27. https://deepoceanfacts.com/
  28. https://www.livescience.com/44205-why-is-the-ocean-blue.html

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Welcome to our blog!
Austin on a dive baot
I am a PADI Divemaster based in South Florida. With nearly 10 years of diving experience, I have accumulated the knowledge to help readers become better divers, buy their next piece of gear, and plan their dream dive vacation! Please contact me if you have any questions.

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