If you had to draw the boundaries of the Earth's oceans on a map, would you be able to? The answer is no—because there is really only one "world ocean." Oceanographers have divided the world ocean into four principal areas, or basins: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Ocean basins. The Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean basins merge into icy waters around Antarctica. Some oceanographers define this as a fifth ocean, usually called the Antarctic or Southern Ocean basin.

 

This video focuses on the Arctic Ocean basin and is taken from the interactive online game, My Ocean. Test your ocean knowledge and learn about the different basins of the world ocean by playing here.

  • The Arctic Ocean is the smallest, shallowest, and coldest part of the ocean.
  • The Arctic region contains a point known as the North Pole. During the summer, the North Pole has 24 hours of daylight. During the winter, the North Pole has 24 hours of darkness. This continuous sunlight or darkness is due to the Earth's tilt as it orbits around the sun.
  • The lion's mane jellyfish is found in the Arctic Ocean. This jellyfish grows up to 2.4 meters (eight feet) across and dines on plankton and fish.
  • Rising global temperatures are causing the Arctic Ocean's ice cover to shrink by an average of 8 percent every ten years.
  • One of the world's largest known deep-water coral complexes is found off the coast of Norway, inside the Arctic Circle. Approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) long and 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) wide, the Røst Reef is made up of Lophelia coral.
Arctic Ocean
Noun

one of Earth's four oceans, bordered by Asia, Europe, and North America.

Noun

water in its solid form.

Noun

area of fewer than 50,000 square kilometers (19,000 square miles) covered by ice.

Noun

large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

polar bear
Noun

large mammal native to the Arctic.

walrus
Noun

marine mammal with large tusks.