It’s officially World Ocean’s Day! While every day is like World Ocean’s Day at AKUA, it’s great to have a global day to celebrate with one another. After all, our oceans support our very existence, and are home to most of the living beings walking (and swimming) on Earth.
Here are 10 facts to blow you out of the water (or are, at the very least, sea-riously interesting) :
1) The largest mountain range on Earth is actually underwater.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is 10,000 miles long and 1,000 miles wide. While most of it lies underwater, some areas poke above sea-level, forming various islands along the way.
2) Over 70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean.
While the rainforests contribute a fair amount of oxygen to the world (28%), marine plants (such as kelp) produce the other two-thirds for our planet through photosynthesis. This means that they take in CO2 from the air and convert it to oxygen for us to breathe!
3) Rivers and lakes can exist underwater as well!
Yes, you read that correctly! Different densities in the water form a separation of flows in the ocean, allowing for rivers to cut through the large bodies of water and flow at different speeds. These rivers go on to carve valleys into the ocean floor which make them appear like above-water ones with banks on either side.
4) 80% of the pollution that exists in our oceans is due to land-based ventures.
Our oceans are constantly at the peril from the downstream (literally) effects of businesses on land. From greenhouse gas emissions to factory farming, our oceans are suffering because of the actions of large companies going unregulated. This includes pollutants like fertilizer runoff and pesticides used by the agriculture industry as well as fossil fuels from the air that settle into the water.
5) If all of our glaciers and ice sheets melt, most major cities in the world will be submerged.
As our ice sheets melt, it’s important to consider what this means in regards to our wellbeing. It’s no joke that the average temperature on earth is only getting warmer, meaning that soon our oceans could be 262 feet taller within the next century - enough to cover most of our cities in water.
6) 90% of the volcanic activity that takes place on our Earth happens in the oceans.
There exists a large number of active volcanoes on the ocean floor. One area in particular is located in the South Pacific and is said to hold a handful of volcanoes that are ready to erupt any day now! These underwater eruptions are why we have many of the small islands that are floating our waters today.
7) Our deepest trench on Earth is hidden far below the water.
Not only does the ocean contain our largest mountain range on Earth, it also sinks to the deepest point of the planet. Located in the Mariana Trench, the Challenger Deep is an additional trench within Mariana diving a whopping 36,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. This means that it’s the deepest part of the entire world - taller than Mt. Everest!
8) The width of the Pacific Ocean is greater than the moon.
The Pacific Ocean is 12,300 miles wide at its largest point. This expanse travels all the way from Indonesia to Colombia. The diameter of the moon is 2,158.8 miles wide, which means that the width of the Pacific Ocean is actually around five times the width of the moon.
9) 50% of the ocean is unprotected by global governments.
Half of the ocean is labeled as “The High Seas” which means that those areas are fair game to unsafe and harmful practices. This means that things like pirate looting or exploitative fishing practices (such as overfishing or targeting endangered species) go completely unmonitored.
10) One drop of water takes 1000 years to travel around the entire globe.
Believe it or not, water can actually travel across the entire Earth. Through different temperatures and pressures spanning the waters, a single drop is able to make its way around by turning into ice at some points and also changing its density based on salt levels and environmental changes.
Our world’s oceans are incredible forces spanning across the Earth. It’s important to be educated in the ways our governments and corporations are exploiting them at the expense of our present and future.
So how can you kelp… I mean help? We’ve got you! By cutting down your plastic use (carry around reusable bags, buy bulk items from markets instead of packaged ones, bring your own to-go containers to restaurants), eating plant-based or sustainable catch, and paying attention to reducing your carbon footprint in even the smallest of ways throughout your day (like composting or not buying fast fashion).
Happy World Ocean’s Day! Enter our epic giveaway HERE. :)