Indian Ocean Facts

Indian Ocean Facts
The Indian Ocean borders Asia, Africa, Australia and the Southern Ocean (Antarctica). It is the world's third largest ocean covering an area of 28,350,000 square miles. It is estimated that the volume of the Indian Ocean is approximately 292,131,000 cubic miles. Ancient Sanskrit literature refers to the Indian Ocean as Ratnakara which means 'the creator of jewels'. The Indian Ocean covers 1/5th of the earth's surface, connecting 18 Asian countries, 16 African countries, and 57 island groups. The Indian Ocean is he warmest of the world's ocean, and because of its temperature it has limited ability to support sea life.
Interesting Indian Ocean Facts:
During the 'age of discovery' in the 1500s the Indian Ocean was being explored by sailors to find a route around Africa. It was already an important trade route for silk trade.
In the early 19th century the Indian Ocean was mostly dominated by the United Kingdom but Australia and India soon dominated as the British Empire declined in the region.
The temperature of the Indian Ocean makes it difficult for phytoplankton to grow in most areas, which is required as a food source to support life in the ocean. This is one of the main reasons for the limited marine animal life in the Indian Ocean when compared to the world's other oceans.
Another reason for limited sea life is the fact that the Indian Ocean has low oxygen content.
Main ports and harbors of the Indian Ocean include Richard's Bay in South Africa, Mumbai in Bombay India, Melbourne in Australia, Kolkata in Calcutta India, Jakarta in Indonesia, Durban in South Africa, Columbo in Sri Lanka, and Chennai in Madras India.
The main access points to the Indian Ocean are the Suez Canal in Egypt, the Strait of Malacca in Indonesia/Malaysia, the Strait of Hormuz in Iran-Oman, and Bab el Mandeb in Djibouti-Yemen. These are also considered to be the world's most important ports.
It is estimated that approximately 40% of the world's oil comes from the Indian Ocean.
The Kerguelen Plateau is a continent of volcanic origins that lies beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean's water evaporates at a high rate due to its temperature. It receives an estimated 6000km of river run off from rivers such as the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers.
The Indian Ocean is subjected to a variety of pollution sources including oil and ship pollution, specifically in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea.
Monsoons commonly occur in the Indian Ocean, producing a large amount of rain in the summer and a lot of wind in the winter.
There is a 5,000km long mountain range called the Ninety East Ridge that divides the Indian Ocean into east and west regions.
The fact that the Indian Ocean is landlocked to its north by Asia it is considered to be a closed ocean in comparison to the other oceans of the world.
The Indian Ocean has the lowest and highest recorded surface salinity levels.
Every year it is estimated that the Indian Ocean becomes approximately 20cm wider.


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