Ocean Facts for World Oceans Day
Today is World Oceans Day – a day focused on learning more about the world’s oceans and how to protect and conserve them. Around the world, aquariums, zoos and museums are focusing on the day, while people have been inspired to take personal action to help this previous resource. This year’s theme is Youth: The Next Wave for Change. About 400 events are planned in 70 countries. Events in the US are listed on this page.
Test Yourself – World Oceans Facts
Here are some interesting – and some worrying – facts about the world’s oceans:
- Many water basins cross two or more nations – a UN study shows that 45% of the world’s water basins fall into that category.
- About 97% of the world’s water is salt water – and the US Geological Survey says 70% of the freshwater supply is frozen in the Artic and Antarctic – I guess we won’t be drinking that any time soon!
- The Mariana Trench in the Pacific is the deepest part of the ocean at 35,979 feet deep. You could drop Mount Everest in it and still have about 10,000 feet left over.
- The deepest part of the ocean is pitch black, not blue, because light can’t penetrate that far.
- On Earth, more creatures live in the ocean than on land – about 80% of all species.
- Only about 5% of the ocean has been explored so far.
- About 90% of the big fish in the sea are gone.
- Two-thirds of ocean species are over-fished, according to UN data.
- Agricultural run-off is increasing the number of coastal dead zones.
- Estimates of the amount of plastic in the ocean keep rising; a 2010 estimate by 5 Gyres put the figure at 315 billion pounds.
Recent research from the Oceans Project found that while many Americans support the idea of a healthy ocean, most feel that the issue is too big for individuals to take action and feel powerless to make changes. However, the same research showed that 22% of Americans are active environmentalists and 57% are sympathetic to environmental issues. The Ocean Project provides plenty of ideas for celebrating the day and for being more active on ocean and environment issues – check them out here.
- The Ocean Project
- World Oceans Day
- Thank You Ocean
- 5 Gyres
- World Oceans Day – United Nations
- World Ocean Network