The Atlantic Ocean is huge. In fact, only one ocean is bigger: the Pacific.
The U. S. has 14 states that border the Atlantic. The coastal states that have shorelines on the Atlantic Ocean are, from north to south, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
The Atlantic Ocean is so big that it covers about 20% (one-fifth) of the Earth’s surface. It separates the continents of of North and South America (on the west) from Europe and Africa (on the east). To its north is the Arctic Ocean, and to its south is the Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean.
As you can see from the map, that’s a whole lot of water!
Fun Fact: The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is about 11,900 feet, which is about 3,600 meters. That’s means the Atlantic is, on average, over 2 miles deep.
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is divided into two parts: the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean.
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is home to some of the world’s best fishing zones. Several of the very best fishing areas are in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the manmade Panama Canal, which was opened on August 15, 1914. The canal is one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken.
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean has thousands of islands. Greenland, which is in the North Atlantic, is the largest island in the world (not counting Australia, which is a continent). About 80% of Greenland is covered by a sheet of ice that’s over a mile thick. If all the ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, the sea level would rise 24 feet! Thank goodness it’s cold up there!
Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean has a shape that looks something like the letter “S.” Look at the map and see if you agree.