In honor of World Oceans Week, we’re highlighting some interesting facts about our underwater cousins. Here are 10 reasons why you should love the ocean.
10 fast facts about oceans
- Oceans cover about 70% of Earth’s surface and produce 70% of our oxygen. The Pacific Ocean alone spreads across 30% of the planet’s surface.
- Contrary to popular belief, the locations of the sun and moon do not determine when high and low tide events occur at a particular location; rather, the geography and shape of the Earth, along with other regional forces, control these individual events.
- The Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, is the world’s largest coral reef system. It is 2,600 kilometers long, and can be seen from the moon!
- Humans have explored less than five percent of the world’s oceans. We know more about space.
- Scientists have identified over 250,000 marine organisms, and around 750,000 remain undiscovered.
- Over 3.1 billion years ago, oceans saw their first signs of marine life. 2.7 billion years later, organisms evolved on land.
- You’ve heard of tsunamis, but did you know that meteotsunamis exist? Tsunamis are large ocean waves stemming from seismic activity, but meteotsunamis are slightly smaller, reaching up to six feet. Meteotsunamis are triggered by air-pressure disturbances from severe thunderstorms, squalls, and other storm fronts.
- Next time you lay your towel on the sand, remember: along with disintegrated rocks and organic by-products, parrotfish poop is also an ingredient in this grainy, solar-reflecting substance. Parrotfish create sand by scraping algae off of rocks and dead coral with their beaks, pulverizing the attached calcium carbonate in their digestive systems, and ejecting it as waste.
- Generally considered the fastest animal in the ocean, the sailfish can achieve maximum speeds of 70 miles per hour.
- Without oceans, Earth would suffer much higher temperatures; oceans have absorbed over 90% of the warming caused by carbon emissions.
Oh yeah, those are 10 reasons you should love the ocean, but we have one more. You know, whales are pretty awesome too...