Geography

Pacific Ocean


The Pacific Ocean is the largest and oldest sea mass on the planet.

At 180 million square kilometers, the Pacific covers almost a third of the globe's surface and corresponds to almost half of the surface and volume of the oceans.

The Pacific Ocean is the ocean with the largest average depth (4,280 m) and where the largest underwater pits are located (such as the Mariana Trench, approximately 11,500 m).

The Pacific is located west of America, east of Australia and Asia, and south of Antarctica. It is in the Pacific Ocean that lies the region furthest from civilization, the Easter Island which belongs to Chile and is approximately 3,600 km from the nearest inhabited place.

One of the main features of the ocean is its large number of islands, has approximately 25,000. The set of these islands is named after Micronesia (small islands) or Polynesia (many islands). The Pacific is also characterized by its intense volcanic activity. This is because the ocean is completely contained in a tectonic plate called the Pacific Plate.

The Pacific receives little influence from continental air masses. Because of its extent, there are five different climatic zones or regions, causing quite different temperatures in each of these regions.

The ocean encompasses maritime regions: Antarctic Glacial Ocean, Bering Sea, Olchotsk Sea, Japan Sea, East China Sea, South China Sea, Java Sea, Arafura Sea, Coral Sea, Taemfinia Sea, Sea of Probe and Gulf of California.

Origin of the Pacific Name

The ocean was baptized in 1520 in the Fernão de Magalhães expedition and was named after Pacific because it is calmer compared to the stormy Atlantic Ocean.

This comparison was made when Ferdinand Magellan and his navigational companions crossed the Strait of Magellan, a passage between the two oceans already mentioned.