6 Facts About the Atlantic Ocean You Might Not Know

6 Facts About the Atlantic Ocean You Might Not Know | SeaShort Realty

Topsail Island is a popular beach vacation destination with thousands of beachgoers each year. If you've ever vacationed here, then you know of its immense beauty with the seascape views and sandy beaches that are mesmerizing to watch sitting on the beach or from the peacefulness of a vacation rental. Many visitors swim and play in the Atlantic Ocean but may not know much about it. 

For instance, the ocean's name originated from Greek mythology and means "Sea of Atlas." The first documented reference to it was found in the sixth-century BC Greek mythology. 

Learning ancient history and scientific facts about the ocean is fascinating. If you love learning fascinating facts about the natural world, keep reading to learn six more facts about the Atlantic you might not yet know.

Youngest and Second Largest Ocean in the World

Created during the Jurassic period, the Atlantic Ocean is estimated to be 150 million years old. It is the youngest of the world's oceans. As the second-largest ocean in the world and spans over 41,000,000 square miles, covering about 20% of the Earth's surface. It makes up about 29% of the Earth's water. For comparison, The United States is only about one-sixth the size of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Deepest Part of The Atlantic 

The Puerto Rico Trench, not to be confused with the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, is the deepest part of the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. It is over 27,000 feet deep, about five miles below the Atlantic's surface.

The Atlantic Ocean Is Getting Wider

While it may seem impossible for something as massive as an ocean to move or spread, the Atlantic Ocean is actually getting wider at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year. The tectonic plates underneath the ocean floor are moving, causing the Atlantic to widen as the plates slowly move away from each other. Here is a short video about a university research trip that identifies the Atlantic Ocean widening.

The Atlantic Ocean Was Once Home to A Species of Giant Sea Scorpion

About 400 million years ago, eurypterids, or "sea scorpions," roamed the Earth and oceans. Some of these creatures reached over eight feet with huge claws and excellent vision. They are related to horseshoe crabs, scorpions, spiders, mites, and ticks. They disappeared over 250 million years ago and became extinct after a significant world event. It may have been one of the largest arthropods to have ever lived. 

The Atlantic Ocean Also Has a Massive Garbage Patch

Like other oceans worldwide, the Atlantic faces a significant pollution problem. It has a massive "garbage patch," similar to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch off the coast of California. The North Atlantic Garbage Patch consists of millions of tons of plastic debris humans have discarded into the ocean over time. This pollution poses a serious threat to marine life and the health of the ocean ecosystem. There have only been a few cleanup efforts to remedy the problem, but The Ocean Cleanup is one of them.

The Floating Sargasso Sea 

The Sargasso Sea is a vast part of the ocean and is home to free-floating seaweed called Sargassum, a type of algae. Essentially this seaweed floats around within the Atlantic and has no land boundaries. It is about 1,000 miles wide and 3,000 miles long, making it close to the size of the United States. It is home to an astonishing array of marine life, like turtles, shrimp, crabs, fish, and many other species. 

In conclusion, the Atlantic Ocean is a vast and fascinating body of water that holds so much life and mystery. The oceans are one of the most understudied parts of the planet, and we still have so much to learn. But all ocean lovers can agree that sitting by it can be one of the most soothing and exciting feelings with all that it holds in its beauty. 

If you plan to spend time next to the Atlantic Ocean for your beach vacation this year, check out our fantastic vacation rental properties. We have many beautiful places on Topsail Island that will make your beach vacation magical!

6 Facts About the Atlantic Ocean You Might Not Know | SeaShort Realty

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