What Ocean Surrounds Antarctica?

Christopher Michel/CC-BY 2.0

The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica. The International Hydrographic Organization created the Southern Ocean in 2000. This ocean comprises the southern parts of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it reaches from the coast of Antarctica to 60 degrees south latitude. The Southern Ocean is the fourth-largest ocean worldwide.

The continent of Antarctica comprises an area of 5.4 million square miles and is the southernmost of the continents. Antarctica’s area is about double that of Australia, making Antarctica the fifth-largest continent. About 98 percent of Antarctica is covered by ice averaging over 1 mile in thickness. Antarctica is estimated to have no permanent residents and about 5,000 temporary residents as of 2014.