There are more interesting facts about the Indian Ocean than most people realise! In fact, this is one of the most fascinating oceans there is! But why? Read on to find out…
- Facts About the Indian Ocean
- 1. The Indian Ocean Is Almost 20% Of the Earth’s Surface
- 2. The Indian Ocean Is the Warmest Ocean in the World
- 3. The Indian Ocean Offers Food Security to Africa
- 4. The Indian Ocean Contributes to the Tourism Industry
- 5. The Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean Are Connected
- 6. The Indian Ocean Has the World’s Lowest Lying Country
- 7. You’ll Find Many Important Ports in the Indian Ocean
- 8. There Might Be a Lost Continent in the Indian Ocean
- 9. The Indian Ocean Has Many Seamounts
- 10. The Indian Ocean Is the Second Most Polluted Ocean in the World
- 11. The Indian Ocean Has the Least Number of Trenches
- 12. You’ll Find an Underwater Mountain Range in the Indian Ocean
- 13. The Indian Ocean Spreads a Little Every Year
- 14. The Indian Ocean Has 30% Of the World’s Coral Reef
- 15. Climate Change Is Impacting the Indian Ocean
- 16. Seabed Mining Is Hurting the Indian Ocean
- 17. Indian Ocean Is Home to Many Endangered Sea Species
- 18. The Indian Ocean Has Big Coastal Cities
- 19. The Indian Ocean’s Deepest Point Is the Sunda Deep
- 20. Indian Ocean Receives 6,000 Kilometres of River Runoff
- 21. Indian Ocean Is Unique Chemically
- 22. One of the Strongest Earthquakes and Tsunamis Took Place in the Indian Ocean
- 23. There Is Limited Marine Life in the Indian Ocean
- 24. Indian Ocean Has a Complicated Origin
- 25. There’s a Lot of Natural Resources in the Indian Ocean
Facts About the Indian Ocean
Located in the Southern Hemisphere, the Indian Ocean is an integral part of the Earth.
Right from housing a diverse marine life to storing several oil and mineral resources to being an important trade route, the Indian Ocean has impacted many countries.
So, if you’re intrigued to know more about the third-largest ocean, read these facts about the Indian Ocean!
1. The Indian Ocean Is Almost 20% Of the Earth’s Surface
Let’s start with one of the most mind-boggling facts about the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean is the world’s third-largest ocean. Even if it looks small on the world map, the ocean is spread across an area of 70.56 million square kilometres!
Therefore, the Indian Ocean’s area is four times the area of the largest country on Earth by area, Russia (17 million square kilometres).
2. The Indian Ocean Is the Warmest Ocean in the World
Here’s another one of the unique facts about the Indian Ocean.
Amongst all the five oceans, the Indian Ocean is the warmest one, followed by the Pacific Ocean.
The water temperatures on the surface level are between 66 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit or 19 to 30 degrees Celsius.
The reason behind the warm temperature lies mainly in its location. The Indian Ocean is towards the equator. Therefore, direct sunlight causes the water temperature to increase.
The Indian Ocean also doesn’t meet the Arctic Ocean, which is the coldest one. Thus, it continues to remain warm.
3. The Indian Ocean Offers Food Security to Africa
The Indian Ocean is of dire importance to certain African nations. It is the home of many fish varieties, especially tuna as 21% of the world’s tuna is sourced from the Indian Ocean.
Hence, countries like Seychelles and Comoros Islands rely on the Indian Ocean for their seafood needs.
Apart from these countries, fishing industries in the places surrounding the Indian Ocean also depend on the marine life found in it.
4. The Indian Ocean Contributes to the Tourism Industry
Let’s see some tourism-related facts about the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean isn’t just important for the fishing industry. It’s also a major contributor towards the tourism industry.
Many popular countries amongst the tourists like Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Seychelles surround the Indian Ocean. The clear-water beaches and the lush-green tropical vegetation due to the ocean’s presence has boosted the tourism economy of these countries.
5. The Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean Are Connected
Let’s talk about a few geography-related facts about the Indian Ocean.
If you look at the map, you’ll see that the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean merge together after a point. Both oceans merge at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip in South Africa.
6. The Indian Ocean Has the World’s Lowest Lying Country
You may have already heard about the country Maldives. After all, it is a well-known tourist destination. Maldives is also an archipelago consisting of 1000 islands in the Indian Ocean.
However, did you know that Maldives is also the lowest-lying country as its average elevation above sea level is just 1.5 metres?
The highest point in the Maldives is also located at a height of 2.4 metres on Vilingili Island in the Addu Atoll.
7. You’ll Find Many Important Ports in the Indian Ocean
As the Indian Ocean has a strategic location, it has many well-known ports. Let’s talk about a few of them in these facts about the Indian Ocean.
The Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka is responsible for 90% of its seaborne goods. It’s also the busiest port in the entire South West Asia.
Another significant port is The Port of Mumbai. This port is one of the key factors in establishing Mumbai as an important trade and business city in India.
The largest man-made harbour, Jebel Ali, in the United Arab Emirates is also situated in the Indian Ocean.
Port Louis in Mauritius, Port of Durban in South Africa, and Port of Chabahar in Iran are also well-connected ports in the Indian Ocean.
8. There Might Be a Lost Continent in the Indian Ocean
If you love the lore of Atlantis, you need to know these facts about the Indian Ocean!
Scientists discovered the remains of an ancient continent right below Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. In the present day, the lost continent is referred to as “Mauritia” due to its location.
Geologists believe that Mauritia was a part of present-day India and Madagascar. However, it completely sank beneath the ocean 84 million years ago!
Keep in mind that the whole concept of Mauritia is simply a hypothesis and there’s no hardcore evidence yet.
9. The Indian Ocean Has Many Seamounts
If you love landscapes, here are some landscape-related facts about the Indian Ocean.
There are thousands of seamounts in the Indian Ocean. They’re simply mountains that rise from the ocean floor but don’t reach the surface.
You’ll find them in abundance between Seychelles and the Réunion Island.
10. The Indian Ocean Is the Second Most Polluted Ocean in the World
After the Pacific Ocean, it is the Indian Ocean that takes the title of being the second-most polluted ocean in the world.
The Pacific Ocean has two trillion plastic pieces whereas the Indian Ocean has more more than one trillion pieces.
Other factors like chemicals and oil spillage have also led to the pollution of the Indian Ocean.
11. The Indian Ocean Has the Least Number of Trenches
Trenches in the ocean stand for a narrow depression inside the ocean floor.
Now, the Indian Ocean only has a few trenches. Yet, the second-largest trench, the Java Trench, is a part of the ocean. It is spread across an area of 3,200 kilometres or 2,000 miles and is located near Sumatra in Indonesia.
12. You’ll Find an Underwater Mountain Range in the Indian Ocean
We often talk about the mountains on land. Yet, there are lots inside the ocean too!
For instance, Ninety East Ridge is an underwater mountain range in the Indian Ocean. It divides the ocean into its eastern and western regions.
The name also holds significance as it mentions the mountain’s longitude which is the 90th meridian.
13. The Indian Ocean Spreads a Little Every Year
Here’s one of the lesser-known facts about the Indian Ocean!
Due to the ice caps at the poles melting, the Indian Ocean widens eight inches or 20 centimetres every year.
14. The Indian Ocean Has 30% Of the World’s Coral Reef
If you love diving, know these facts about the Indian Ocean!
The growth of coral reefs is abundant in the Indian Ocean due to its warm water. Hence, 30% of the world’s coral reef grows in the Indian Ocean.
You’ll find coral reefs near Maldives, Seychelles, Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India, and many more regions near Australia and Indonesia.
15. Climate Change Is Impacting the Indian Ocean
Global warming and climate change is affecting the whole world, including the Indian Ocean.
The water temperature of the Indian Ocean is rising continuously due to climate change. This increase can lead to the death of coral reefs and marine animals living in the Indian Ocean.
The rise in temperature due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases may also cause the ice caps to melt and cause the water levels to increase. This poses a threat to the low-lying coastal cities and island countries in the Indian Ocean.
16. Seabed Mining Is Hurting the Indian Ocean
These facts about the Indian Ocean are quite concerning!
Seabed mining involves extracting minerals from the ocean floor. As the Indian Ocean contains various important minerals, seabed mining is done excessively.
Sadly, it has several adverse effects on the ocean.
First, mining leads to the destruction of an area which further destroys the habitat of marine animals and displaces them. It may also cause the loss of marine species native to that particular region in the ocean.
Seabed mining may involve the release of harmful chemicals into the ocean’s water. This can lead to water pollution and affect marine flora and fauna.
17. Indian Ocean Is Home to Many Endangered Sea Species
The Indian Ocean has certain unique species. Unfortunately, many of them are also endangered.
Some of the endangered species include the African penguin, Aldabra Giant Tortoise, Albatross, and even the Blue Whale! The Great White Shark and Grey Reef Shark are also at risk.
Certain tiny fish species like Butterflyfish, Cuttlefish, and Angelfish face the threat of endangerment in the Indian Ocean.
18. The Indian Ocean Has Big Coastal Cities
Just like important ports, the Indian Ocean is also home to some of the biggest coastal cities in the world.
In addition to South Asia, several African cities, such as Durban in South Africa, Maputo in Mozambique, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, are important coastal cities along the Indian Ocean.
In the Oceania region, Perth in Australia is a coastal city near the Indian Ocean.
19. The Indian Ocean’s Deepest Point Is the Sunda Deep
Here are some deep facts about the Indian Ocean!
The average depth of the Indian Ocean is around 12,274 feet or 3,741 metres. However, the deepest point, also known as the Sunda Deep, has a depth of 23,920 feet or 7,290 metres.
The Sunda Deep is situated in the Java Trench, near the southern coast of Java in Indonesia.
20. Indian Ocean Receives 6,000 Kilometres of River Runoff
There are many rivers that drain into the Indian Ocean.
For instance, large rivers like Ganga (2,510 km) and Brahmaputra (2,900 km) drain into the Indian Ocean.
There are also many other rivers like the Indus River (3,180 km), the Euphrates (2,800 km), and the Tana River (1,000 km) that also drain into the ocean.
Therefore, the Indian Ocean receives a lot of water from these rivers. Yet, the evaporation rate is also high in this ocean as it’s located near the equatorial region.
21. Indian Ocean Is Unique Chemically
Let’s talk about some unique facts about the Indian Ocean.
Did you know that the Indian Ocean differs greatly from other oceans?
The Indian Ocean has a peculiar chemical composition. You’ll find the highest concentration of dissolved and floating hydrocarbons in its water. The ocean also has a negative water balance.
Another surprising fact is that the Indian Ocean tends to show extreme salinity levels. In some regions, it’s more (around 37 parts per thousand) whereas in some, it’s less (around 32 parts per thousand).
22. One of the Strongest Earthquakes and Tsunamis Took Place in the Indian Ocean
This is one of the saddening facts about the Indian Ocean.
In 2004, a deadly tsunami formed in the Indian Ocean after an undersea earthquake of 9.1 magnitude took place near the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia.
The tsunami caused severe destruction as more than 225,000 people died in various countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Thousands of people were also reported missing or left homeless in India and Sri Lanka!
23. There Is Limited Marine Life in the Indian Ocean
Most oceans have rich marine life. Yet, these facts about the Indian Ocean are somewhat of a contradiction.
The Indian Ocean’s temperature is higher than other oceans. Therefore, many marine creatures, including plankton and other such species, cannot live in such an environment.
However, during the monsoon season, you’ll find phytoplankton in the Western region of the Indian Ocean.
There are other important marine animals like tuna, shrimp, seals, turtles, and whales that also live in the Indian Ocean. Sadly, their numbers are decreasing due to illegal fishing and other such unlawful human activities.
24. Indian Ocean Has a Complicated Origin
Trust me, this is one of the most confusing facts about the Indian Ocean!
The Indian Ocean originated 80 million years ago and gained its current form at least 36 million years ago. Yet, it started forming around 180 million years ago.
The ocean was created due to the separation between East Gondwana and Africa, and the Indian subcontinent and Australia-Antarctica.
The Tethys Ocean from the Mesozoic era also closed due to which the Indian Ocean was given a way to open.
Hence, there were too many things that happened over a span of million years to facilitate the formation of the Indian Ocean.
25. There’s a Lot of Natural Resources in the Indian Ocean
These facts about the Indian Ocean show how important it is to the world.
The Indian Ocean has several important natural resources. The two most important resources include petroleum and gas hydrates.
The Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf region in the Indian Ocean is responsible for exporting 18.2 million barrels of oil every single day!
Apart from oil resources, the Indian Ocean is also rich in mineral resources like copper, cobalt, nickel, and manganese.
Further Reading – Facts About the Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is a vast body full of fascinating secrets, beautiful marine animals, and necessary resources. If it weren’t for the ocean, many countries, including both tourism-based and non-tourism-based won’t be where they’re today.
Sadly, due to illegal human activities, the Indian Ocean is continually in danger. So, I hope these facts about the Indian Ocean opened your eyes to its significance.
If you enjoyed knowing more about this ocean, you can check out other articles on my website!