What Are the Names of the Earth's Oceans?

names-earth-s-oceans Credit: Kevin Dinkel/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Earth's five oceans are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. These five oceans make up over 70 percent of the Earth's surface.

The Pacific Ocean is the Earth's largest ocean, taking up 28 percent of the Earth's surface at 60 million square miles. This ocean played an important role in history as a main route for migration and exploration.

The Atlantic Ocean is the Earth's second-largest ocean, taking up almost 30 million square miles, and includes five different seas and the Gulf of Mexico. It plays an important role in the development of many of the Earth's hurricanes.

The Indian Ocean is the Earth's third-largest ocean, taking up over 26 million miles. It includes many different bodies of water, such as the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Great Australian Bight.

The Southern Ocean is much smaller than the three biggest oceans, taking up just 8 million miles. Introduced in 2000 by taking parts of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans to form a fifth ocean, it surrounds all of Antarctica.

The Arctic Ocean is the Earth's smallest ocean at just under 5.5 million miles, most of which is north of the Arctic Circle.