Indian Ocean Facts

Here are some facts about the Indian Ocean.

  • The Indian Ocean is the world’s 3rd largest, after the Pacific and Atlantic. It covers about 20 percent of the earth’s surface and is bordered by Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.
  • It covers an area of just over 73 million square km and has an average depth of 3,890 metres. The ocean’s deepest point is the Diamantina Trench, which reaches a depth of 8,000 metres.

  • In 3,000 BC the Egyptians were exploring the western area of the ocean, and a Greek navigator was one of the first people to explore it, around the 2nd century BC.
  • The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama was the first European to cross the ocean to the Far East.
  • The Indian Ocean grows about 20 cm wider each year. It also changes its course and direction of flow twice a year, once during the summer and again during the winter.
  • The Indian Ocean is the world’s warmest ocean. The warmest part of the Ocean is the Persian Gulf.
  • About 40 percent of the world’s oil production comes from the Indian Ocean and the countries surrounding it. Many of the beaches on the ocean are rich in variety of minerals.
  • Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island is in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa.
  • Indonesia, in the eastern Indian Ocean is made up of over 17,000 islands and is the world’s fourth most populous country.
  • A large continent, volcanic in nature, has been discovered submerged in the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
  • Many classic literary works, including One Thousand and One Nights mention the Indian Ocean. The adventures of Sinbad the sailor supposedly took place on and around the ocean.

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