OceanConsidered by many as the earth’s last wilderness, the oceans are filled with both marvels and mysteries.  The following offerings relate to everything from tidal pools to seafloors-and all the marine wonders in between.

Earth’s oceans contain approximately 324 million cubic miles of seawater.  It is also believed that the earth’s oceans formed over four billion years ago.

Nautiluses, like many sea creatures, rely on a combination of carbon and oxygen in the seawater to form their shells.

The Pacific Ocean is the earth’s largest covering 70,000,000 square miles.  It was named by explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

A collapsible rib cage is one biological feature that allows elephant seals the ability to dive more than 2,000 feet deep.

Some scientists are enlisting the help of elephant seals by equipping them with saline-measurement gear that they wear as they dive to great depths in the south Atlantic.  From such measurements, deep water flows can be analysed. 

Polar bears can remain completely submerged underwater for about two minutes.  They close their nostrils but swim with their eyes open.

Coorong Lagoon off the southern coast of Australia is a famous haven for birds such as pelicans and swans.

The world’s third longest river, the Yangtze, dumps an average of 7.9 million gallons of water per second into the East China Sea.

Mangrove swamps cover approximately eight percent of the earth’s coastlines.  However, in recent decades, half have been destroyed due to human enterprise.

The largest continual mangrove ecosystem in the world is the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest located in southwestern Bangladesh and northeastern India.

A fast-grower, giant kelp, the ocean’s biggest seaweed, can grow about twenty inches per day.

Among a few threatened marine species of the Indian Ocean are whales, turtles, seals and dugongs-relatives of manatees.

Global warming trends currently threaten animals like polar bears but also cities like Venice-which floods about two hundred times a year.

The Skeleton Coast off the northwestern coast of Namibia is the scene of many historical shipwrecks due to rough seas, fog and high winds.

Puget Sound off the Pacific coast of North America was formed by glaciers roughly 20,000 years ago.

The lowest point in the Pacific Ocean is Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

The deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean is the Puerto Rico Trench.

Estuary surfing is popular in countries like Brazil-but dangerous as these waters are often teeming with snakes and crocodiles.

The earthquake of 2004 that launched the horrific Indian Ocean Tsunami produced 23,000 more energy than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

One of the most dangerous sea creatures is the blue octopus.  Its neurotoxic venom can kill a human being.

Moray eels are nocturnal creatures that live in coral reefs.

The sea horse is the only creature where the dad gets to deal with pregnancy.  Although the female produces the eggs, the father holds them within his body until their births.

Among his many feats, Benjamin Franklin made one of the earliest map’s of the Gulf Stream’s course.

Tornadoes that whirl over the sea are actually called waterspouts and are frequently caused by tropical cyclones.

Daily tides are cause by the gravitational exchange between the earth and moon.

There are many known whirlpools throughout the oceans.  The Naruto Whirlpool between two islands of Japan has been in existence since ancient times.

Starfish are actually carnivores eating small fish, clams and oysters.

The biggest great white shark recorded weighed in at seven thousand pounds.

At any given time, great whites smile with approximately three thousand teeth.

Bull sharks are referred to by many different names such as: Ganges shark, river shark, shovelnose shark and the Zambezi shark.