In science, there are depressingly accurate terms for everything. This is one of the things that makes the distinction between sea and ocean so interesting. These terms are largely interchangeable. This may be due to the fact that the original definition of seas and oceans predated the rediscovery of science in the Middle Ages and was thus more a generalized term than a very specific one. Thus, the original vague definitions were allowed to persist to this day, and they still remain somewhat vague in their differentiation. In this case, the custom turned out to be stronger than a certain scientific definition. Let’s take a look at this comparison of Sea and Ocean.
Comparison of sea and ocean
However, as is commonly understood today, there are some similar deviations between all seas and all oceans. The main one is size. The seas are much smaller bodies of water than the oceans – even the smallest ocean compared to the largest sea.
It also often happens that the seas are considered to be integral parts of a larger body of water. Often, but not always, it is the ocean to which the smaller seas belong. In the most obvious case, the Mediterranean is not an ocean, but its various parts are also considered seas in themselves.
The Tyrrhenian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean Sea that is washed by the western and northwestern coasts of Italy. Beyond the Italian boot, this body of water between Italy and the Balkan Peninsula is commonly known as the Adriatic Sea. In addition, the part of the Mediterranean Sea on the other side of the Balkan Peninsula is known as the Aegean Sea.
In the broader oceans themselves, many seas can be found listed as being part of a similar type of subunit to their common oceanic region. There is a lot of news about the South China Sea these days. Along with the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, they are all part of the greater Pacific Ocean while maintaining their own distinctive local identity as locations along the Chinese coast.
Key differences between sea and ocean
As mentioned above, size matters in terms of defining seas and oceans. But there are other differences as well. The oceans are considered salt water, while the seas are often considered salty or less salty water. This is due to the proximity of the seas to land. Freshwater rivers dump their products into the seas off the coast. This reduces the salt levels in the ocean to some extent.
Access also matters. The wider waters of the world are considered to be five interconnected oceans, although this traditional definition has been modified to some extent. Some seas, such as the Aral and Caspian Seas, are completely separated from any connection to the oceans and thus can also be identified as salt lakes such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Other seas are notable for their limited number of connections to the wider oceanic mass. The Baltic Sea, for example, has only one outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The Black Sea has only one narrow outlet to the Mediterranean Sea, which in turn has only one natural outlet to the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand, the Suez Canal offers an artificial outlet to the Red Sea, which in turn has only one outlet to the Indian Ocean. In all cases, the seas are known for their proximity to land.
Sea vs Ocean: Key Differences Frequently Asked Questions (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are 7 seas and 5 oceans?
The answer to this question is not easy. Typically, five oceans are considered Antarctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Arctic oceans.
As for the seven seas, this is a term that has never been very precise and has had different definitions in different historical eras. At the dawn of Western civilization, when humanity lived in the Mediterranean world, the seven seas were traditionally considered the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Caspian and Arabian seas. In some slightly different lists, the Aegean Sea was excluded, and the Persian Gulf was added instead.
As Western man left his original homeland, the definition of the seven seas changed as new bodies of water were discovered.
When navigation became possible throughout the entire space of the globe, the term “7 seas” took on a broader meaning to denote all the salt water of the planet. It has become an art term rather than a scientific definition. Today, the seven seas are commonly defined as the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian Sea, North Pacific, South Pacific, and Antarctic Ocean.
One change in terminology is gradually occurring: the Antarctic Ocean is now often referred to as the Southern Ocean.
What are the 5 main seas?
This term can refer to the 5 modern oceans listed above. This may also apply to 5 large bodies of water that have only limited or no connection to oceanic mass. These are the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black, Caspian and Red Seas. The White Sea in the far north of Russia can also be considered a similar area within this standard, but is usually not included.
Which is deeper: the ocean or the sea?
The oceans are much deeper than any of the seas. Ocean depths can sink as low as 36,000 feet below sea level in the Mariana Trench in the central Pacific Ocean. The deepest point in the Mediterranean is approximately 15,000 feet below sea level. However, seas tend to be much shallower on average than ocean average depths.
Where are 7 seas and 5 oceans?
They are everywhere. In fact, you are more than twice as likely to find a spot on the water than on land. In general, the world is covered with water by more than 70%. Thus, from a geographical point of view, it is more correct to talk about limited areas of land, sandwiched between the huge masses of water that make up the world’s oceans.
With that said, the mighty Pacific Ocean, both north and south, lies west of America and east of Asia. The Atlantic Ocean, both northern and southern, lies west of Africa and Europe and east of America. The Indian Ocean lies west of the westernmost border of the Pacific island chains and east of the African continent. Below these central oceans, the Antarctic or Southern Ocean surrounds the continent of Antarctica and washes the southern margins of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. At the top of the map, the Arctic Ocean washes the roof of the world and is bordered by Russia, Norway, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska.
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