Did you know that the Atlantic Ocean covers about 20% of the Earth’s surface? That makes it the second-largest ocean, coming just behind the Pacific. It covers an area of over 41 million square miles.
The first historical mention of the Atlantic Ocean happens in 450 B.C., in the book The Histories of Herodotus where it’s called the “Sea of Atlas.” This is one great example of a prolific work crafted by the hand of a talented writer.
Despite its age, many scientists believe that the Atlantic Ocean is also the youngest of them all. It contains the most fertile waters for marine life and plenty of oil and natural gas deposits.
Here are some more fun facts about the Atlantic Ocean.
Interesting Facts About the Atlantic Ocean
- Scientists believe that the Atlantic Ocean began forming during the Jurassic Period.
- The second-largest barrier reef in the world is found in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the Cancun Reef that’s off of the coast of Mexico.
- An underwater mountain range in the North Atlantic is called the Atlantic Ridge. It’s twice as wide as the Andes Mountains, and this landmark runs south for about 10,000 miles from where it starts in Iceland.
- If you were to visit the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of southern Africa, you would find diamonds just sitting there to be picked up.
- Many of the marine life species that call the Atlantic Ocean their home are considered endangered. The list of animals is massive, including whales, sea lions, seals, turtles, and manatees. Pollution and over-fishing are the two primary contributors to this status.
- Greenland is considered the largest island in the world. Its location is in the Atlantic Ocean.
- The first ship that carried paying passengers across the Atlantic Ocean set sail in the 1850s aboard the Cunard Line. Although people had been crossing to the New World for almost 300 years at that time, this venture was the first passenger-only business opportunity.
- The Atlantic Ocean was the first ocean to be crossed by a ship and an airplane. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across it in 1928.
- Coelacanths were thought to be extinct for about 60 million years until a live one was caught in the Atlantic Ocean in 1938.
- Many stories of tragedy have come from the Atlantic Ocean, ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to the ships lost in the Bermuda Triangle.