The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the five oceans. Check out some more interesting and fun facts about the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic Ocean Facts

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the five oceanic divisions in the world, to be found in the Northern Hemisphere and mainly in the Arctic North Polar Region. Throughout the year, the ocean is largely covered with a sheet of sea ice due to very low temperatures. The Arctic Ocean is nearly completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America. Like Antarctica, the Arctic Ocean lacks the fabled history and beauty. It's actually a place for the most brutal and exposing adventure on earth. The Arctic Ocean is less than 1.5 times the size of the United States of America and has a total area of 14.056 million sq. km. Every summer, the ice caps are surrounded by open seas, but double in size during winter and blanket the entire ocean. This of course, makes it difficult for oceanic travel, although the Arctic Ocean is a prime route to the Northwest Passage. To know some more of these interesting, fun facts about the Arctic Ocean, read on.
Interesting and Fun Facts About Arctic Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the five oceans of the world. It's roughly 8% the size of the Pacific Ocean.
  • With total area of 14.056 million sq. km, the Arctic Ocean includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies.
  • Tropical cyclones develop off the coast of Cape Verde and travel towards the Arctic Ocean. These are very common from May to December.
  • The Arctic Ocean has a coastline of 45,389 km and has depth of 4,665 m (from basin).
  • The Arctic Ocean gets its name from ‘Arctos’, the Greek word for ‘bear’, because the Bear Constellation can be seen just above the north pole.
  • The Ocean boasts several important ports and harbors like Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia) and Prudhoe Bay (US).
  • The economic activity from the ocean is limited to the utilization of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.
  • The Northwest Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are important seasonal waterways of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Arctic Ocean's cold sheet of floating ice is quarters to seals, polar bears and arctic fox.
  • The deepest spot under the Arctic Ocean is the Fram Basin, which is located 15,300 feet below the ice cover, and all this water is icy cold, that supports less marine life.
  • There are three kinds of ice in the Arctic Ocean: pack ice, polar ice and fast ice.
  • Temperatures of the icy water vary from -30 to -70°C all year round!
  • The floating ice is around 16 million sq. km, which shrinks to 9 million sq. km. in summers. When the ice shrinks, open water leads expose the black water.
  • The Arctic Ocean's ice sheet is four times as large as the state of Texas.
  • More fish live along the edges of the Arctic Ocean than anywhere else on the Earth.
  • During long winters, the sun never rises above the horizon for a period of four months. This is a fact and it happens every year!
  • Europe, Asia, North America and one part of Europe (Greenland), surround the Arctic Ocean, unlike Antarctica, which is only surrounded by the world’s major oceans.
  • The Arctic is the only place on the Earth where polar bears live. The place receives roughly 8 inches of rain every year.
  • Fridtjof Nansen was the first person to make a nautical crossing of the Arctic Ocean, in 1896.
  • The first surface crossing of the ocean was led by Wally Herbert in 1969.

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