Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the no. 1 contiguous open water surface on earth. It has a huge, 60,060,700 square mile (155,557,000 square km) area and 13,215 square feet (4,028 square meters) average depth. The Pacific Ocean’s greatest known depth is 36,198 feet (11,033 meters), found at Mariana Trench.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world’s five oceans (followed by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean). Strategically important access waterways include the La Perouse, Tsugaru, Tsushima, Taiwan, Singapore, and Torres Straits.

The International Hydrographic Organization’s decision to delimit a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, removed the Pacific Ocean’s portion south of 60 degrees south.

Oceans and shallow seas cover more than two-thirds of the planet, to an average depth of 2½ miles / 3.8 km. The Pacific Ocean alone covers nearly half the globe. The oceans contain about 320 million cubic miles / 1,330 million cubic km of salty seawater, accounting for 97 percent of the water on Earth. Most of this water forms a dark, cold realm deep below the surface, where life is scarce, but the shallow, sunlit waters of coastal seas are some of the world’s richest wildlife habitats.

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