Interesting facts about the Arctic Ocean

Posted on May 11, 2022      31


The icy waters of the Arctic Ocean still harbor many mysteries. Its bottom has not yet been studied thoroughly, but scientists know a lot of interesting facts about it. Because of its harsh climate, it is partly blocked by ice, and icebergs that break away from the ice massifs make navigation in these areas even more difficult. Despite this, the most important shipping routes pass through the Northern Ocean.

Facts about the Northern Ocean

  • Of all the oceans on Earth, it is the smallest.
  • The Arctic Ocean washes the shores of 6 countries.
  • It is not navigable in winter because of ice, and any maritime traffic is impossible.
  • The waters of the Southern Ocean, which wash the shores of Antarctica, are colder than the waters of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Inhabitants of the Arctic Ocean live longer than their relatives in warmer waters. Thus, the life expectancy of cod here can reach 20 years.
  • The area of the Arctic Ocean is about 2.5 million square kilometers smaller than the area of Russia.

  • Because of the seasonal melting of ice, the level of salinity in the Arctic Ocean varies in different months.
  • According to some estimates, up to 25% of the world’s oil reserves are at its bottom.
  • The diversity of life here is not as great as in the warmer seas and oceans. However, the local waters are not lifeless. In the Arctic Ocean there are even jellyfish, reaching a diameter of a couple of meters.
  • About 150 different species of fish live in the waters of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Because of climate change, each year the area of multi-year ice in the ocean is gradually reduced by 80-100 thousand square kilometers.
  • Polar bears that live in the Arctic Ocean sometimes travel thousands of kilometers away from their home areas on floating ice floes.
  • Maximum reduction in ice cover at the North Pole was recorded in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
  • A huge amount of debris has accumulated on the bottom and surface of the Arctic Ocean. There aren’t many people to litter here, but a lot of waste is brought here by currents. Although, fortunately, it is still far from the famous garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.
  • At the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, water is practically motionless. The process of their complete renewal takes about 7 centuries.
  • Icebergs drift across its surface even in summer.
  • Under the surface of the Arctic Ocean is hidden a lot of warm currents. Some of them are quite fast.

  • In winter, the temperature on its shores usually drops to -40-45 degrees, or even lower.
  • Most of the animals and birds living on the coast of the Arctic Ocean have white fur or plumage.
  • Here live the largest of the seals, which can weigh up to 200 kg.
  • The iceberg, the collision with which proved fatal for the infamous Titanic, was brought by currents into the Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic Ocean.
  • On average, the speed of drifting icebergs in the North Ocean is about 7 km per day, but the officially recorded record is over 100 km per day, because of extreme weather.
  • Some perennial floating ice floes here are equipped with automatic polar stations.
  • Ice in the Arctic Ocean in summer almost does not disappear compared to winter, as the summer months here are usually sunny, but cold.
  • The deepest point of the Arctic Ocean lies at 5,527 meters.
  • Despite being the smallest of the oceans, it has more islands than the Atlantic or Indian.
  • Almost 70% of the Arctic Ocean is covered by its seas, straits, and bays.
  • The Northwest Passage, the sea route through this ocean, was discovered back in the 15th century, but because of years of ice, it was impassable for ships. In 2007, it was declared navigable because, because of melting ice cover, now specially equipped ships can pass through it.
  • About 200 species of plankton live in the waters of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Its average depth is less than that of all the other oceans.