For kids who live in California, Oregon and Washington, the Pacific Ocean is within easy reach. However, people travel from all over the United States to witness the incredible power of the sea. It is great to see the ocean during the San Diego whale season to witness the blue whale migration patterns in person. This experience is sure to inspire a love of science, and here are some fun facts about the Pacific Ocean kids are bound to find fascinating.
The Pacific Ocean Is the Largest Ocean
There are five oceans total on the planet. The Pacific Ocean, which extends from the United States to Japan, is the biggest one on Earth. It covers approximately 63 million square miles, and it accounts for nearly 46% of the planet’s water surface area. Technically, the Pacific Ocean is divided into two separate areas due to the equator. There is the South Pacific Ocean and North Pacific Ocean.
It Gets Its Name From the Latin Word for “Peaceful”
The word “pacific” derives from the Latin word “pace,” which stands for “peace.” It got its name from the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. He explored the Pacific Ocean in 1521, and he named the waters “mar pacifico.” This translates to “peaceful sea.”
The Pacific Ocean Is Also the Deepest on the Planet
The Pacific Ocean has the deepest trenches on Earth. The average depth in the ocean is about 12,000 feet. It is home to the deepest point on the planet due to the presence of the Mariana Trench. This can be found north of New Guinea and West of the Philippines. This trench has a depth of over 35,000 feet. It was formed after a collision between two tectonic plates. Some researchers refer to the area as the “Challenger Deep.”
There Are 25,000 Islands in the Pacific Ocean
Whale watching season San Diego only gives you a small glimpse of everything the Pacific Ocean has to offer. If you could sail the entire sea, then you would come across over 25,000 islands. A majority of them can be found south of the Equator. Indonesia alone contains over 17,000 islands while Japan has roughly 3,000.
Most of the Volcanoes on Earth Are in the Pacific
The Pacific Ocean is home to the famous ring of fire. This is a collection of volcanoes that form a ring around the basin of the sea. Over 75% of volcanoes on the planet are located in this basin. This area is also home to numerous earthquakes every year due to the immense volcanic activity that takes place. Tsunamis are also common in this area, and this natural disaster can result in terrible destruction if they ever reach land.
It is important to inspire within children an appreciation of the sea so that future generations are encouraged to take care of the ocean. It may be large, but it still needs protection. A great way to inspire this passion is to take children on a whale watching excursion. Whale watching is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so book your trip today.
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