The newly named ocean- the Southern Ocean

Now, Earth has its fifth ocean- the Southern Ocean.

Located at the southernmost part of Earth, the newly named Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica. According to Nat Geo, there was a never-ending debate about recognising the southernmost ocean going on among the scientists. But on 8th June 2021, the southern ocean was recognised as the world’s fifth ocean.

Facts about the newly named ocean- the Southern Ocean- 

It is the fourth largest ocean in the world.Right after the Indian Ocean stands the Southern Ocean, with an area of 7.8 million square miles. The size of the Southern Ocean is drifted by inches every year. The Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica and encompasses the entire South Pole. 

The Southern Ocean is deep in most of the region. The southern end of the South Sandwich Trench is the deepest part of the ocean. It is 23,740 metres deep, which means it the deepest points among the other oceans. Only a few areas in this ocean have shallow waters. 

It is the only ocean that is known by its current.About 34 million years ago, when Antarctica separated from South America, it opened up the Drake Passage. It established the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) or the West Wind Drift that allows the rapid circulation of water around the bottom of the Earth. In an argument for recognising the Southern Ocean, the International Hydrographic Bureau mentioned this fact.  

Here you can experience extreme weather conditions. During winters, ice and huge icebergs cover the Southern Ocean that floats around the ocean. The freezing temperature is due to the proximity of the Southern Ocean to the South Pole.  

The largest species of Penguins found here. The ice of the Southern Ocean is home to different and rare species of marine animals. The emperor penguins, rockhopper penguins, king penguins, blue whales, orcas, Antarctic fur seals, Weddell seals and leopard seals are known to live in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Other birds found here are Gulls, Albatross, Terns and Petrels. 

Most region of the Southern Ocean remains unexplored. Scientists believe that the ocean floor of the vast Southern ocean is a depository of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, gold and manganese. These deposits in the Southern Ocean are the result of gravity separation in the process of sedimentation. In the Southern Ocean, military activities are bound to scientific researches.

From the most unexplored region to the world’s fourth-largest ocean, the Southern Ocean is a box of mystery!

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