While the specific origin of the Indian Ocean's name is not commonly known, it is generally believed to have been named due to its proximity to India. During the 15th century, when sailing ships were used to transport goods around the known world, the Indian Ocean was the main trade route between Europe and the Far East.Continue Reading
Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese sailor, is considered to have been the first European to enter the Indian Ocean, via the Cape of Good Hope, on his way to India. This ocean, comprising about one-fifth of the Earth's total ocean water, is the smallest of the major oceans at about 28,360,000 square miles.
The Indian Ocean is also the youngest of the world's oceans. When the supercontinent Gondwana began to break up approximately 150 million years ago, the Indian Ocean began to form. It did not achieve its current position and size, however, until about 36 million years ago.
The Indian Ocean is home to a variety of plant and marine life, including seals, whales and tuna. However, because of the warmer temperatures of this ocean, phytoplankton exist only in smaller quantities, thereby limiting the amount of fish and other marine species much more than in the other oceans.Learn more about Bodies of Water
The Indian Ocean trade network was a system of maritime trade routes that connected China, India, Thailand, the Indonesian and Malaysian islands, East Africa and Arabia. It dates back at least to the third century B.C. and involved ancient empires like the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty.Full Answer >
The mouth of a river is another name for its terminus, where it meets an ocean, sea or lake. Because rivers generally carry abundant sediment and deposit it at the mouth, they often form deltas, or broad, shallow areas. The opposite end of the river is called the headwaters or the source; however, the headwaters are often formed by several discreet sources that all occur in the same general area.Full Answer >
The name of the ocean that surrounded Pangaea was called "Panthalassa." The supercontinent of Pangaea was completely formed around 270 million years ago, and Panthalassa was the global ocean that surrounded this land mass.Full Answer >
Earth's oceans are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The Pacific is Earth's largest ocean at over 60 million square miles.Full Answer >