Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ocean Fun Facts: our most amazing and mysterious natural resource

Let's have a little fun. Here's some interesting fun facts about our important and mysterious oceans:
  • An estimated 50-80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface and the oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet. Less than 10% of that space has been explored by humans. 85% of the area and 90% of the volume constitute the dark, cold environment we call the deep sea. The average depth of the ocean is 3,795 m (12,451 ft). The average height of the land is 840 m (2,756 ft).
  • Currently, scientists have named and successfully classified over 1.5 million species. It is estimated that there are as little as 2 million to as many as 50 million more species that have not yet been found and/or have been incorrectly classified.
  • The oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface and contain 97% of the Earth's water. Less than 1% is fresh water, and 2-3% is contained in glaciers and ice caps.
  • 90% of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans.
  • The pressure at the deepest point in the ocean is more than 11,318 tons/sq m, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.
  • Antarctica has as much ice as the Atlantic Ocean has water.
  • Each year, three times as much rubbish is dumped into the world's oceans as the weight of fish caught.
  • More refined oil reaches the oceans each year as a result of leaking automobiles and other non-point sources than the oil spilled in Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdez.
  • The swordfish and marlin are the fastest fish in the ocean reaching speeds up to 121 kph (75 mph) in quick bursts; the Bluefin Tuna may reach sustained speeds up to 90 kph (56 mph).
  • Because the architecture and chemistry of coral is so similar to human bone, coral has been used to replace bone grafts in helping human bone to heal quickly and cleanly.
That's 10 reasons to protect, study, and preserve the oceans; our most precious natural resource and the cradle of our existence - past, present, and future.

Sources:, Smithsonian Institution, Mote Marine Laboratory, US Geological Survey

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