Q:

What are some interesting facts about the Arctic Ocean?

A:

Quick Answer

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest ocean in the world and is about 8 percent of the size of the Pacific Ocean. Its water is consistently cold with temperatures ranging between minus 30 to minus 70 degrees Celsius throughout the year. When the icy water turns into an ice sheet, it forms a mass that is four times the size of Texas.

Know More
What are some interesting facts about the Arctic Ocean?
Credit: Sue Flood Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

The name "Arctic" comes from the Greek word "Arktos," meaning "Bear," because the Great Bear, or Ursa Major constellation, is seen just above the North Pole. The large expanse of sea ice keeps the polar regions cool and affects the global climate. The polar sea ice is frozen seawater, while the icebergs are frozen freshwater that originates from molten glaciers on the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean. Many of the huge icebergs in the Arctic are formed from the freshwater around Ellesmere Island in Canada.

Daylight is constant throughout the summer, while total darkness surrounds the Arctic Ocean during the winter months. The two months of sunshine result in the accumulation of a tremendous number of plant planktons as well as an increase in animals that eat them. These herbivorous animals are usually krill and other small crustaceans. While most animals leave the polar region when the sea freezes over, polar bears travel to the frozen Arctic Ocean to hunt seals during late spring or winter.

Learn more about Bodies of Water

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the biggest ocean?

    A:

    The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, taking up over 60,000,000 square miles of the world's surface. It is equal in size to all of the land on the planet and covers approximately 21% of the surface of Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the deepest ocean in the world?

    A:

    The deepest ocean in the world is the Pacific Ocean with an average depth of 13,740 feet. The Missouri Botanical Garden reports that the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean is the Mariana Trench at 36,200 feet.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about estuaries?

    A:

    One interesting fact about estuaries is that they are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. Estuaries occur when saline water mixes with freshwater, forming brackish water. These estuaries are home to diverse plants and animal species adapted to salty conditions that rely on the micro-organisms and plant matter found only in brackish bodies of water. Some other names for estuaries are sounds, sloughs, lagoons and bays.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the names of all the oceans?

    A:

    Earth's oceans are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The Pacific is Earth's largest ocean at over 60 million square miles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore