In our last article on Indian Ocean facts, we are not quite done. There’s more that we can speak about this mighty ocean. We continue to do so in this article and this time, we sum up 30 more facts about Indian Ocean. If you like them, don’t forget to give us a click of love!
Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 1-5
1. Of all the oceans is world, the Indian Ocean is the youngest and its evolution is also the most complicated of all. So, just how did the ocean come into existence and when? Continue reading…
2. Indian Ocean’s evolution is actually the result of a continental breakup that began some 180 million years ago (mya). It all began when Gondwanaland – the southern supercontinent started breaking.
3. Indian Ocean did not come into existence until 140 mya. By 125 mya Indian Subcontinent started drifting northeast to eventually collide with what is known as Eurasia some 50 mya.
4. Some 53 mya, Africa, which was a part of Gondwanaland started moving west while Australia and Antarctica (which were also parts of Gondwanaland) broke apart.
5. The present form of the Indian Ocean that we see actually took shape some 36 mya and most of the ocean’s basin is 80 million years old. This means the Indian Ocean, the youngest of all oceans in world.
Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 6-10
6. The continental shelves of the Indian Ocean are really narrow. The average width is 120 kilometers or 75 miles with widest points found in India’s western coast off Mumbai (300 kilometers or 190 miles and off Australia’s northwest.
7. There is however one exception to this narrow continental shelf feature of Indian Ocean. It is found off the western coast of Australia and is as wide as 1,000 kilometers or 620 miles.
8. Of the three major oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian), the Indian Ocean has the least number of marginal seas.
9. Indian Ocean is rich in coastal configurations that are well-defined. There are dunes, beaches, lagoons, barrier island complexes, coral reefs, cliffs, mangrove swamps, salt marshes, deltas and estuaries.
10. Indian Ocean is the warmest of all oceans that are present on planet Earth. However, temperature varies from one part of the ocean to another. The average temperature is 22°C at 20°S south latitude’s North but can reach 28°C or even higher near equator’s coastal regions. There is a quick drop in temperature once we move southwards and cross the 40°S latitude.
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Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 11-15
11. Going southwards of Indian Ocean at around 65°S latitude, one will always encounter icebergs and pack ice. Icebergs can reach as high as 45°S latitude.
12. Because of the high temperature of the Indian Ocean phytoplankton cannot grow properly and hence, the marine life diversity is very limited in the ocean.
13. Not just the scarcity of phytoplankton, low levels of oxygen in the ocean’s waters is another contributing factor towards limited marine life diversity of the ocean.
14. There is something call Ninetyeast Ridge – a 5,000 kilometer long underwater mountain range in the Indian Ocean that divides the ocean into East Indian Ocean and West Indian Ocean.
15. Despite the fact that marine life is limited in the Indian Ocean, it still remains the largest breeding ground for the majestic Humpback Whales.
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Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 16-20
16. We learned about the deepest point in Indian Ocean but what is the highest point? The highest point is the sea level itself.
17. Indian Ocean has very complex hydrological characteristics. There are horizontal water layers caused by different types of circulation. Lighter layers lie atop heavier layers. Even the salinity, temperature and oxygen content in each layer differs.
18. The salinity of the Indian Ocean differs from place to place. The surface salinity of the ocean usually ranges between 32 and 37 ppt (parts per thousand). Arabian Sea for instance, has 37 ppt salinity while Bay of Bengal has 32 ppt salinity.
19. Indian Ocean is the home to several tectonic plate boundaries. One such example is Rodrigues Triple Point. This is the boundary of Antarctic continental plate, Indo-Australian continental plate and African plate.
20. Yet another boundary or fault line is the Indian tectonic plate and Burmese plate at meet at a subduction zone. In 2004, Indian tectonic plate moved below the Burmese plate and created a vertical crack of about 20 meters. As a result, a large amount of water was displaced, causing a massive tsunami due to the earthquake of magnitude 9.3 caused by the crack. This lead to around 200,000 deaths and over 1 million people became homeless.
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Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 21-25
21. There are many important harbors and ports in Indian Ocean. These are located in various continents. For instance, in the Indian subcontinent are the ports of Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. In Australia is the Melbourne port. In Indonesia there is Jakarta port. South Africa has Richards Bay and Durban while Sri Lanka has Colombo.
22. Indian Ocean is considered as a locked ocean. That’s because, the ocean has the whole of Asia sitting to its north, creating a landlock.
23. The circulations of the Indian Ocean change course twice every year.
24. Only subsistence level fishing is allowed in Indian Ocean.
25. Indian Ocean has 4 primary access points. They are Strait of Malacca, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb and Suez Canal.
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Weird Indian Ocean Facts: 26-30
26. The sands of the beaches of the Indian Ocean are known to be mineral rich. Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Africa and India extensively exploit those resources.
27. Indian Ocean has numerous manganese nodules but even the most advanced technologies of current times have failed to extract manganese.
28. A rare earth mineral called mozanite has been found in sand bodies near shores of Indian Ocean. Other minerals that have been found include ilmenite, chromite, zicron and tin.
29. Just like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, even the Indian Ocean has what is known as Indian Ocean Garbage Patch that spans over 1.9 million square miles or 5 million square kilometers. It was discovered in year 2010.
30. This patch is basically a plastic garbage vortex that circulates throughout the ocean. Its circulation route is Australia to Africa through Mozambique Channel and then back again to Australia. This circulation takes 6 years to complete and happens because the vortex rides the southern Indian Ocean Gyre. However, some debris is actually stuck at the very center of the gyre and hence, never travels.
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List of all Islands in Indian Ocean:
Madagascar (Continental Fragment)
Maldives (Continental Fragment)
Seychelles (Continental Fragment)
Socotra (Continental Fragment)
Sri Lanka (Continental Fragment)
Christmas (Volcanic Origin)
Cocos (Volcanic Origin)
Farquhar (Volcanic Origin)
Prince Edward (Volcanic Origin)
Saint Paul (Volcanic Origin)
Amsterdam (Volcanic Origin)
Amirante (Volcanic Origin)
Andaman and Nicobar (Volcanic Origin)
Chagos (Volcanic Origin)
Crozet (Volcanic Origin)
Kerguelen (Volcanic Origin)
Sunda Groups (Volcanic Origin)
Comoros (Volcanic Origin)
Lakshadweep (aka Amindivi, Minicoy, Laccadive) (Volcanic Origin)
Mauritius (Volcanic Origin)
Réunion (Volcanic Origin)
List of territories and countries bordering Indian Ocean
Southern Indian Ocean:
Prince Edward Islands (RSA)
French Southern and Antarctic Lands (FRA)
Heard Island and McDonald Islands (AUS)
Ashmore and Cartier Islands (AUS)
United Arab Emirates
British Indian Ocean Territory (UK)
Cocos Islands (AUS)
Christmas Islands (AUS)
France (Mayotte and Réunion)
French Southern and Antarctic Lands (FRA)
List of all straits, bays, gulfs and marginal seas of Indian Ocean:
Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Bal-el-Mandeb
Sea of Zanj
Laccadive (Lakshadweep) Sea
Indonesian Seaway (which includes Torres Strait, Sunda Strait and Malacca Strait)
Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Khambat
Gulf of Kutch
Gulf of Carpentaria
Gulf of Bahrain
Gulf of Tadjoura
Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Mannar
Great Australian Bight
Bay of Bengal