Sunday, February 8, 2009
The Pacific Ocean
Was named by the Portuguese navigator Fernando de Magalhaes, better known as Magellan. When sailing in the Atlantic Ocean in the year 1520, Magellan had to deal with gales and bad weather. When he entered the Pacific Ocean however, he found that the great body of water was placid for days of sailing. He named it El Pacifico, the peaceful one, not knowing that it covered one third of the earth’s surface and gave birth to terrible storms and waves unequaled in any other body of water Apart from the marginal seas along its irregular western rim, it has an area of 64 million square miles (103 million square kilometers) substantially larger than the entire land surface of the globe. Its maximum length north to south is 9,630 miles (15,500 kilometers) from the Bering Strait to Antarctica, and its greatest width is 11,000 miles(17,700 kilometers) from Panama to the Malay Peninsula. Its average depth is 14,040 feet (4,280 meters). The greatest known depth in any of the world's oceans is 36,198 feet (11,033 meters) in the Mariana Trench off Guam.