25 Unique Characteristics of Indian Ocean
Everyone adore deep blue ocean. Oceans in the World contain beauty and mystery at the same time. Many people have crossed the ocean for cruise holiday, enjoying island life for honeymoon, exploring ocean animals deep down, technologies research and trading route. Basically, ocean is everything life has to offer. You can do anything and living life itself. But have you already know about 5 oceans on earth? How well do you know them? And which one is your favorite? Let’s dig deeper about unique characteristics of Indian Ocean this time and get prepared to be more mesmerized.
There are 5 world ocean in this earth, Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern. One of the largest is The Indian Ocean, which approximately covering 20% water of the world’s ocean. It flows around north Asia, West Africa, East Australia and south Southern Ocean, and believed to cover 70,560,000 m2 or 27,240,000 sq mi of earth’s surface. It is named after India and has another name, as in Hindi and Sanskrit. It is famously known as The Mine of Gems or Ratnakara in Sanskrit and Hind Mahagasar in Hindi.
The average depth of Indian Ocean is 3,741 m or 12,274 ft and its max depth is 7,906 m or 25,934 ft. The deepest point of Indian Ocean is the Sunda Trench or also known as Java Trench, located in Indonesia. However, compared to Pacific Ocean or Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean is way much calmer and that is one of the reason why Indonesian able to cross during powerful monsoon to settle in Madagascar around 1 CE.
It is mentioned that Indian Ocean connects Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal. Is covers the Andaman Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Flores Sea, the Great Australian Bight, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Java Sea, the Mozambique channel, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Savu Sea, the Strait of Malacca and the Timor Sea. Besides all these very important facts, Indian Ocean has its very own mysterious characteristic that surround civilizations.
Have you ever heard about unexplained sea phenomenon? And that is one of many unique characteristics of Indian Ocean. Milky Sea phenomenon happened in Indian Ocean. Where the water turns blue because of the bio luminescent bacterial account and if it being sees with naked eye, it would look like milky white color and its existence lasts for over four centuries.
Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004 left a lot misery in every one’s heart, it is caused by earthquake that believed as powerful as the energy of 23,000 Hirosima atomic bombs. The 9.0 magnitude quake happened near the west coast of Sumatra due to violent tectonic plates displace movement and it created powerful killer waves pushing againts each other in every direction and building enormous amount of water.
The underwater Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunamis will likely continue to happen in the future. As well as 12 Causes and Effects of Tsunami. However, Indian Ocean has many other interesting facts and characteristic compares to other world’s ocean. It plays important rule as business distribution route, produces a lot of high valuable fish and so many more
There are still a lot of interesting facts about Indian Ocean, and we had enough description about it’s basic information. I will show you 25 unique characteristics of Indian Ocean that you should know.
- The third largest ocean
Ever wonder why Indian Ocean look huge? Because It covers 1/5 water of earth surface and that is roughly 7 times the size of USA, and that is literally huge. As the third largest from five ocean on earth, International Hydro graphic decided that Indian Ocean is larger than the Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean. Pacific Ocean is the most largest ocean and the second largest one belongs to Atlantic Ocean.
2. The only ocean named after a country
It is named after India because located around the Indian peninsula. Indian Ocean is the only ocean named after a country with 4 critically access waterways which are Egypt, Yemen, Iran-Oman, and Indonesia-Malaysia. In Ancient times it is known as the Erythraean Sea.
3. Geographic coordinates
Indian Ocean bordering 16 African countries, 18 Asian continent, 57 island and Australia continent as well. It’s geographic coordinates are 20 00 S, 80 00 E with 66.526 km coastline and connected Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica
4. Indian Ocean produces 40% offshore oil production
Indian Ocean has particularly heavy traffic therefor it is also has serious concerns such as ship and ocean pollution. It is considered as a very important route for petroleum and oil based product distribution
5. Limited sea life
Compared to other world’s ocean, marine life is lesser due to limited growth or phytoplanktons and low oxygen content. There are lots of characteristics of marine life in general, however in 2016 researcher from United Kingdom identified 6 new sea animal species, and they are “Hoff” crab, a “giant peltospirid” snail, a whelk-like snail, a limpet, a scale-worm and a polyurethane worm.
6. It is the youngest of all 5 earth ocean
It is believed that around 2nd century BC the Egyptians and a Greek navigator were exploring the area for the first time and Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese navigator was the first ever who crossed the ocean to the Far East. Because it is the most recent one compared to the other earth ocean, it has crags and ridges in its floor.
7. Home to endangered sea species
Even though Indian Ocean has limited marine life, it is famous for the largest Humpback whale breeding ground and provides suitable place for many endangered ocean species. Endangered species in Indian Ocean are turtles, seals, sea cows and many more. It is also share the most valuable tuna and shrimp which are a famous assets for Russia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
8. Trade industry route
The most important ports and harbors in Indian Ocean are in Mumbai, Melbourne, Colombo, Jakarta, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Durban. Fish, minerals, oil, shrimp, basically every high valuable product crossed Indian Ocean. A lot of countries gain benefits from this, such as Russia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
9. Highest level of salinity
It’s a source for highest and lowest salinity levels and the highest located around the Arabian Sea and along a belt of water, between Southern Africa and Southwestern Australia. The average salinity level is between 3.2 and 3.7 percent. Indonesian water trough flow allows fresher water and Red Sea and Persian Gulf produces more saltier water.
10. Variable Weather
The perks of located near the equator, the weather lies on monsoon season, which are going to produce heavy rainfall in the summer and windy weather on winter but in southern hemisphere, the winds are not that windy and sometimes there’s storms hit the summer. The northeast monsoon season is between the months of December and April, while the southwest monsoon happens from June to October. This is considered unique due to reversal of surface climate which actually caused tropical cyclones in the middle and end of the year.
The famous Madagascar located in Indian Ocean, specifically in the west part of Indian Ocean. There are also another well known islands such as the Laccadives, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Chagos. It is believed that Indian ocean surround about 57 islands groups.
Except what I explained above, here the other characterictics of Indian ocean, as follows:
- Divided by mountain: It is divided by the Ninety East Ridge, 5000 km range from east to west
- Several tectonic plate: Indian Ocean has few tectonic plate boundaries, and one of it is the Rodrigues Triple Point. Due to its several tectonic plate, it had caused tsunami back in 2004 and took about 200,000 lives
- High evaporation due to near location with the equator: The high volumes of evaporation in Indian ocean produces heavy rainfall during summer and strong wind during winter
- Water supplies: Ganges and Brahmaputra river – the largest rivers in the world gives the ocean 6000 km of river run. There are also receives water from the Zambezi, Tigris-Euphrates, Indus and Irrawaddy rivers.
- Volcanic origin: Indian ocean discovered a submerged continents named the kerguelen Plateau
- The lost continent: Based on scientists, there are quite “lost continent” remains exists deep down in the Indian Ocean
- It literally grows every year: It grows wider about 20 cm each year due to the melting of polar caps.
- How it is formed: It is believed to be form 36 million years ago when subsequent collision of the ancient and southern super continent Gondwana and Eurasia breakup
- Was and always been critical business route: It was actually a silk trade route before the sailor explored and “discovered” Indian Ocean in the 1500 s
- Rich in variety of minerals: High concentration of hydrocarbons and negative water balance at maximum levels are some its unique chemical properties
- Highest and Lowest points: The highest point is at the sea level itself and the lowest point is about 7,258 m deep on the Java Trench or also known as Sunda Shelf in Indonesia.
It is fascinating to know and understand what’s ocean can be. Even in this article only focused on Indian Ocean, you can learn about other ocean and be as amazed as well. Protecting it’s existence can start by understanding it’s nature and some ocean facts.