Facts about oceanography presented in this article can really make you aware that the oceanic scales are different from those used by the terrestrial man. Though, man has walked on the moon, and has sent his spacecraft to the distant planets and even out of this solar system, he has failed to explore much of the oceans. For anyone interested in this field, there is scope for discovering lot of things.
Since the beginning, life on the Earth is associated with her seas and oceans. Physical and biological facts related to the oceans studied under the branch of the earth sciences, named as oceanography or oceanology. It is devoted to the study of the earth’s water bodies. The chemical properties of ocean water, ocean currents and temperature, marine organisms and plants are studied, respectively, under physical oceanography, chemical oceanography and marine biology, which are the major branches for collecting facts.
Information about Oceans For Kids
For most of us, the ocean is a great expanse of water with waves after mesmerizing waves, their tops feathered with foam, rolling towards the beach. The following section presents, some thought provoking aspects of the oceans for kids:
- It is known that the Aristotle and Strabo recorded the observations about the tides.
- In 1513, Juan Ponce de León y Figueroa stumbled upon the Gulf Stream current, in the vicinity of Florida.
- Benjamin Franklin was the first to conduct the scientific study of the Gulf Stream. In 1769-1770, Timothy Folger and he published the first map of the Stream.
- In 1855, Matthew Fontaine Maury, the first superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory, published the first textbook of oceanography, Physical Geography of the Sea.
- Every day a couple of hundred earthquakes occur on the Earth. Fortunately, most of them in the oceans, especially in the regions such as the unstable seabed near Indonesia, where continents, which are floating on magma, rub against each other.
- Majority of volcanic activity happens in the oceans. There is an area as big as the state of New York in the South Pacific, which hosts as many as 1,133 active volcanoes. Many of these volcanoes are ready to erupt. Now you must be wondering, do fish live in this dangerous area?
- The Bay of Fundy is on the Atlantic cost of North America. This is a place where you can witness, difference of 53 feet and 6 inches, highest anywhere in the world, between the high and low tide.
- The seas and the oceans of the Earth store water for us. Is this water drinkable? No! 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by the oceans which together, contain 97% of the Earth’s water. A part of this water evaporates under the glare of the Sun and falls back as rainwater. Salty rainwater, oh, no! Most of the rainwater gets back to the ocean through rivers, leaving some for us to drink. This great cycle is one of the contributing factors in the continuation of life on Earth. These facts about oceans to the weather are studied under meteorology, a branch of oceanography.
- Do you know the name of the longest mountain range on the Earth? Let me give you some hints, the Andes mountain range is 7,000 miles long, the Himalayas are 2,500 miles and the Rockies are 3,000 miles long, but the Mid-Ocean Ridge which winds round the globe is more than 45,000 miles long.
- Canada is the country with the longest coastline which is 56,453 miles long.
- The tallest waterfall on land is Venezuela’s Angel Falls, however, it is not the tallest on the Earth. There is a place near the Denmark Strait where a slow cascade of water sinks 2.2 miles, which is 3.5 times greater than the height of the Angel Falls.
- There are rivers of cold and warm water, flowing into the ocean such as, the Labrador current and the El Niño. This oceanography fact may puzzle you, but it is true. These rivers, within the ocean have dramatic effects on the local and world climate.
- It is said that man knows more about the surface of Mars and the Moon than he knows what goes on under the surface of the ocean. Experts say that we have less than 10% of the knowledge about the ocean.
- Man needs air to breathe. There was a time, when this was a main obstacle for him in diving to the bed of sea for acquiring information. Use of acqua lungs, remote-controlled submarines and digital cameras have simplified matters to certain extents. Today, the tremendous pressure exerted by the ocean water, is the main obstacle preventing us from setting foot on the seabed at the deepest places in it. These are the places in the oceans where the amount of pressure per square inch is more than 8 tones. This is as good as a person trying to support 50 jumbo jets on his body.
- If we can mine the gold suspended in the seawater and distribute it, then each one of us will get 4.5 kilograms of it.
- The tallest known iceberg, off western Greenland, was 550 feet, just 6 feet shorter than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
- The height of Mauna Kea, which is an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii, is 33,465 feet when measured from the seabed to the summit, of which 13,796 feet is above sea level. On the other hand, Mount Everest is 29,028 feet tall.
- Because of global warming, the ice in Antarctica is melting. The water from these glaciers is causing the sea levels to rise. If this continues, it may flood the cities that are located on the islands such as the New York, Mumbai and the coasts, such as, London.
- Earthquakes on the ocean bed may cause tsunamis. These waves travel under the surface of the ocean and close to the ocean floor. Tsunami waves have tremendous power and travel at the speed of hundreds of miles per hour. When tsunami waves reach the land, they breach the sea surface and tower over the land. The biggest tsunami measured was 210 feet high, above the sea surface.
- Do you know the name of the deepest place on the earth? It is the Mariana Trench, near Indonesia in the Pacific Ocean. It is 11,033 meters or 36,201 feet deep. In other words, its sides are… So, which is the tallest mountainside on the Earth.
The hydrothermal vents in the volcanically active area of the sea bed gives rise to chimney shaped structures. The bacteria living in these chimneys use hydrogen sulfide to obtain nourishment, instead of oxygen, which they share with the giant tube-worms. These worms in the shallow water can grow as big as 10 cm.
However, in chimneys, near the sea bed, their size may range as long as 8 feet. This is referred to as gigantism. It is believed that the ocean is where life started on earth. According to the experts in this field, even after the use of modern technology at our disposal, almost 90% of the sea is unexplored.