Home » Ocean Facts » 20 Unique Characteristics of Arctic Ocean

20 Unique Characteristics of Arctic Ocean

by Stephanie

Arctic Ocean is an ocean located around the North Pole. Some people take Arctic Ocean as a sea or simply just recognize it as a mediterranean sea. The ocean will be fully covered by ice during the winter but it will be covered partially by the ice during the summer. Maybe some people only know that in the Arctic Ocean only exist floating ice and giant icebergs but actually there are something more about this coldest ocean on earth. And for sure, there are some life in the Arctic Ocean that might attract your interest to know more about this coldest ocean on earth. To help you to know more, here are some of the unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean that I can and want to share you with.

See also:

1. Smallest ocean

If you want to compare Arctic Ocean with another oceans, this ocean will be the smallest ocean on earth. Its area is only about 14.06 million km². And not only that, Arctic Ocean is also the shallowest ocean compare to the others. The depth of the ocean is only about 1,038 m but for sure you will not want to swim or dive in there because of the cold.

See also: Characteristics of Ocean Environment

2. The ice types

There are three ice types in the Arctic Ocean that covers the entire ocean. They are pack ice, polar ice, and fast ice. Polar ice is the type of ice where when it melts, it will release some amount of nutrient and also organism that can support the live of marine living beings in the Arctic Ocean. And pack ice is the one who covers almost all the Arctic Ocean water, it can be as thick 50 m in winter and 2 m during the summer. Pack ice is the dominant type of ice in the Arctic Ocean.

3. Marine living beings

Even though there is almost no plants in the Arctic Ocean, but there are some marine living beings which is the animals such as whales, walruses, jellyfish, and seal that live there. Arctic Ocean also become a home for six different species of seal.

See also: Threats to Marine Life

4. The existence of algae

One more thing that you need to know is that even though there is almost no plants in the Arctic Ocean, but surprisingly algae can still exist there. During the summer when the temperature get higher and the some of the ices start to melt, there are some nutrient that is released by the ice which support the existence of algae even though it is not as much as what we see in the other ocean.

See also: Types of Algae

5. Diversity of fish species

Another unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean is the diversity of its fish species. And surprisingly, you can find a wider variety of fish species in the Arctic Ocean rather than in another ocean. And most of the fish is living in the edge of the ocean. So, if you want to catch some fish in the Arctic Ocean you don’t have to go to far into the middle of the ocean to catch some fish.

See also: Endangered Fish Species

6. Oil natural resources

Arctic Ocean also has several natural resources such as oil and gas and a small amount of metal. In the bottom of Arctic Ocean there are about more than 25% undiscovered oil and gas resources to help to increase the economy of the place. Even if so, the biggest challenge will be the iceberg and the floating ice that has a big size which can harm the people who sail and try to mine the resources.

7. Iceberg 

If you ever heard about the titanic ship accident, it was happened in the Arctic Ocean. The ship was sinking because it hit a big iceberg which cause some leak to the ship’s hull. Arctic Ocean is also known as a place with a big amount of iceberg that may cause several damage too. The icebergs also collapse sometimes due to several factors.

8. Salinity level

Arctic Ocean has the coldest water temperature compare to the other ocean. This condition is caused by the salinity level that is so low compare to the other ocean as well. And because of that, only some animals that can adapt to the ocean it self that can live and survive in there.

See also: Salinity of Ocean Water – Use of Salinity in Ocean

9. Polar bear habitat

If you ever wonder where the polar bear real habitat is, it is in the Arctic Ocean. Polar bear is a native animal to Arctic, and you will never can find the existence of polar bear in any other place. You can see the polar bear will usually stay around the coast and step into the ice packs to catch some fish to be eaten.

See also: Smallest Marine Mammals – Threats to Marine Mammals

10. The existence of pack ice

Another unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean is the existence of pack ice. Pack ice is the ice that is floating in the Arctic Ocean water surface. The existence of pack ice is supporting the polar bear, seals, and Arctic foxes to help them to look for a fish without getting into the water.

Others (11-20)

  • Inuits: even though the place is so cold but in fact there are some amount of people that live in Arctic. Those people are known as inuits.
  • The non existence of penguin: penguin is usually known as an animal who lives in the cold areas, but you can’t find the existence of penguin in the Arctic Ocean or even in its surroundings. 
  • The existence of narwhal: narwhal is a species of whale that has a tusk. Its tusk can grow up to 3 m long and you will only find its existence in the Arctic Ocean due to its population that is decreasing recently. 
  • Has underwater ridges:  there are three main underwater ridges that you can find in the Arctic Ocean. The ridges are The Nansen Gakkel ridge, The Alfa mountain ridge (with 3,000 m of peak), and The Lomonosov Ridge (with 3,000 to 3,700 m of peak)
  • Lion’s mane jellyfish habitat: another unique species that you can find in the Arctic Ocean is Lion’s Mane Jelyfish. This species of jellyfish is different from the other since its tentacles can grow until 37 m long. The existence of this species also become the unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean.
  • Entire darkness and brightness: in Arctic Ocean there will be a day of an entire darkness in winter and it also can have an entire brightness for a day in summer.
  • Floating ice: there will be lots of floating ice that you can see and even step on in the Arctic Ocean. 
  • Arctic Ocean temperature: maybe you are wondering on how cold the ocean is because it has become the coldest ocean on earth. The temperature of Arctic Ocean is about -30°C.  It can be 10°C during the summer. 
  • The water bodies: Arctic Ocean’s water body is divided into three parts. Those are from deep to shallow Arctic Deep Water, Atlantic Water, and Arctic Surface Water.
  • Radioactivity: last but not least the unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean is radioactivity. Yes, Arctic Ocean contains some amount of radioactive as well as the other oceans.

You know that Arctic Ocean is covered by ice packs. If all of the ice packs melt, there will e a flood for the entire world. And if we don’t do something about it to at least minimize the global warming, the flood will be happened by 2040. It will be better for us to do some small things to at least prevent this kind of thing happen. So those are some unique characteristics of Arctic Ocean that you might have not known before.

By reading this article hopefully you can understand better about the Arctic Ocean moreover about the ocean ecosystem. Thank you so much for being our loyal follower and reader, hopefully all the information that we share to you through other articles can help you to improve your knowledge about the Deep Ocean Ecosystems.

You may also like