Things you might not know about the Pacific Ocean

Stef Zisovska
 
Waves breaking on the shore
Waves breaking on the shore

The Pacific Ocean is the largest body of water in the world, covering almost 46 percent of the planet’s water surface and one-third of the total surface area on the Earth. The ocean is divided by the equator in North and South Pacific, spreading in between the Americas, Asia, and Australia. The deepest point in the Pacific reaches a depth of 35,760 feet. The world’s largest ocean hides many interesting secrets that you’re about to discover. Let’s get started!

 

The diverse flora of the Pacific Ocean

A kelp forest – Author: FASTILY – CC BY-SA 3.0

A kelp forest – Author: FASTILY – CC BY-SA 3.0

The plant life in the ocean waters is more diverse than you can imagine. Plants such as kelp, algae, and phytoplankton are the most common flora residents of the sea. Kelp lives in the colder parts of the Pacific in two formations known as beds and forests. The main difference between them is the forests have a surface canopy, unlike the beds that are mostly in the deeper parts of the water. Kelp is of a great importance for the marine ecosystem, and it has the power to slow currents down during severe storms.

Up to 75% of world’s volcanoes are found in the Pacific basin

The depth of the ocean

The depth of the ocean

All the volcanoes that surround the Pacific Ocean from all sides form a belt that’s known as the Ring of Fire. This Ring of Fire also includes underwater active volcanoes that still erupt and cause earthquakes and sometimes tsunamis. Southern Pacific Ocean is a place where you can see the ring-shaped atoll corals. Atoll is a polyp formed on the sides of a submerged volcano that can grow to the size of an island.

The Pacific is shrinking in size every year

The Pacific is shrinking

The Pacific is shrinking

Due to the movements of the tectonic plates, this ocean is shrinking 1,600 feet every year, while the Atlantic Ocean is increasing by the same amount.

The most unusual animal of the Pacific

A yeti crab or Kiwa hirsuta – Author: Andrew Thurber – CC BY-SA 2.0

A yeti crab or Kiwa hirsuta – Author: Andrew Thurber – CC BY-SA 2.0

The yeti crab is the fluffiest animals that live in this ocean. It sounds weird to say that an underwater creature can be fluffy, but this one is. It was discovered in 2005, and its name was inspired by its looks – a yeti with claws. Yeti crabs live around the Antarctic ridge, can’t see, and use the hair as sensors to help them move around and find food.

There are more than 25,000 islands in the Pacific

Indonesia

Indonesia

If you don’t believe this is true, then you should know that 17,508 of the islands form Indonesia and more than 3,000 belong to Japan.

The biggest underwater volcano eruption was filmed in May 2009

Deepest filmed submarine volcano, West Mata, May 2009

Deepest filmed submarine volcano, West Mata, May 2009

West Mata is a submarine volcano near American Samoa that erupted in May 2009. The camera and the hydrophone that captured the slow lava bursting and hundreds of gas bubbles were analyzed by scientists who put the video and the audio together. Submarine volcanoes have an enormous impact on the world climate. 

The Pacific is 15 times larger than the USA

The island geography of the Pacific Ocean Basin – Author: MTBlack – CC BY-SA 3.0

The island geography of the Pacific Ocean Basin – Author: MTBlack – CC BY-SA 3.0

Can you imagine how big the Pacific Ocean is if it can hold 15 United States-sized countries?

The original name of the ocean was Mar Pacifico, which means peaceful sea. This name remains the same since the 16th century, although the Pacific is a quite wild ocean with a lot of storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis. The 84,000 miles of coastline attract people from all over the world to visit the Pacific, and some of them even move to its exquisite shores forever. If you have never seen any beach on the Pacific coast, this summer will be perfect to explore the blue waters and maybe book a sailing trip with the best tour agencies near you. Enjoy this deep blue ocean!

 
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