Who has never heard of the blue planet? It is our Earth, the one where we were all born, our home. The color that is associated with it is not a coincidence. Viewed from space, our planet is like a huge blue spot. How to explain this particularity? The answer is simple: this color visible from the sky comes from continents encircled by oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. These rivers alone account for 75% of the total surface of the globe. The blue aspect can also be explained by the diffusion of the white light from the Sun. A real physical phenomenon! We cannot tell you how many seas our dear Earth has. On the other hand, there are five oceans: Arctic, Antarctic, Indian, Atlantic and the Pacific.
In addition, as a little culture never hurts, we will reveal the ranking of the world’s largest oceans and seas in terms of area and their diving characteristics.
The Arctic Ocean, the smallest in the world
Known as the refuge for polar bears, the Arctic Ocean has no reason to blush for its beautiful surface of 14 million km². The packed ice covers its surface and can reach up to 4 meters thick. Unfortunately, the gradual melting of ice due to global warming is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly important in the territory. It is estimated that, in less than 50 years, the waters will be fully navigable and the guardian of these places, the polar bear, will be in danger of extinction. Winter temperatures can reach -50 ° C. 400 species of animals and more than 165 species of wild plants populate this icy environment. Many diving cruises are organized, especially on the island of Spitsbergen, where seals, belugas, whales, penguins, birds but also small fish can be observed along icebergs:. All in a magical setting with sumptuous panoramas!
The Antarctic Ocean
In 4th place for its largest surface of water on the planet, is the Antarctic Ocean with an area of 20,327,000 km² and depths of up to 5,000 meters! The waters are extremely cold, between -2 and -10 ° C and are not very salty. The melting of the ice cap is also an alarming phenomenon on the territory. The subject is at the heart of current debates on environmental issues. Its importance and preservation are paramount for the future of our planet Earth. Its own circumpolar current is the most powerful in the world. It has the particularity of absorbing hot currents and redistributing cold waters, making it a key player against global warming. For a diving cruise, you will be completely cut off from the world in Antarctica. The only noises you will hear will be those of the wilderness. Diving or snorkeling trips are done all year round along the glaciers. You will be able to cross endemic species, seals, leopard seals, sperm whales, humpback whales or penguins. The colors under the ice are beautiful. Alas, little flora is growing here. Some lichens, mosses and algae grow in these waters.
The Indian Ocean
Simultaneously mysterious and fascinating, the Indian Ocean is ranked 3rd in the world’s largest oceans. Impressive, it covers 75 million km², or 1/5 of the total surface of the Planet! Hundreds of islands and shoreline states of the African and Asian continents populate this ocean. Its climate is unique, a kind of mixture of tropical, equatorial, temperate and arid tendencies. The depths of this ocean can reach 7000 meters. The Indian Ocean offers an explosion of colors from the sublime coral reefs and many pelagic species are waiting for you. Whale sharks, manta rays, humpback whales and a myriad of tropical fish abound in these depths amidst a rich marine architecture including caves, arches and many other underwater structures. In the Red Sea, you will find all these little wonders and on top of that, spectacular wrecks rich in history and always in very good condition. Some countries in the Indian Ocean are considered to be among the best diving destinations for their underwater beauty and diversity. Diving spots unique in the world are to be discovered without waiting like those of Seychelles, of Mauritius or Maldives.
The Atlantic Ocean
The second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean is characterized by its huge expanse of 106.5 million km². The first crossing of this ocean dates back to the 10th century and was formed from the fragmentation of the Pangea, which was almost 300 million years ago, a supercontinent bordered by a unique ocean, the Panthalassa. 9000 meters is the deepest point of the Atlantic. Its location is a major strategic issue for intracontinental trade thanks to the numerous straits and seas that cross it. The temperature of the water varies enormously in these waters according to the seasons. It can go from 15 to 30 ° C! The highlight of a dive in the Atlantic is certainly the richness of the underwater reliefs and the diversity of the pelagic. A tropical atmosphere reigns in this region. If you are in love with nature with lush landscapes, it is, without a shadow of a doubt, there that you will find your happiness. In the Azores or Cape Verde, the variation of scenery promises to be total. The volcanic islands are everywhere and the grounds are carved by sumptuous caves, caves and underwater fortresses. Marine mammals and cetaceans dominate in most areas and will make your dives unforgettable!
The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean in the world
AND THE WINNER IS … THE PACIFIC OCEAN! This disproportionate body of water of 166.2 million km² represents 1/3 of the total surface of the planet. Some of its seabed’s reach the deepest pits in the world that up to 11,000 meters deep! This ocean extends from North to South and encircles 5 of the 7 continents of the Earth, namely Asia, Oceania, the Americas and Antarctica. The Pacific destinations are often favorites of divers from around the world for the variety of its underwater life and for its heavenly places. The diving conditions are optimal all year round in crystal clear waters at tropical temperatures. On iconic islands like Australia, Chile, through Polynesia, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua or New Guinea, the multitude of colors will surprise you and make you want to discover all treasures of the abyss! Multicolored coral potatoes, endemic animal species, large predators, underwater wrecks that are unique in the world, a very diversified architecture, in short, the list is much longer and much richer! This is the Pacific, all with temperatures ranging from 10 to 30 ° C.
And as you are very curious, also dive into our world seas category from the smallest to the largest.
The Weddell Sea, the smallest sea in the world
Located at the South Pole, the Weddell Sea is considered to be the least extensive with an area of 2.8 million km². Its discovery, in 1823, is recent since it barely goes back to two centuries. Its waters are constantly frozen and covered with sea ice. For a diving cruise, the Weddell Sea promises a journey of magic and fantasy. Emperor penguins, Adelie penguins, elephant seals and seals are the guardians of this Ice Kingdom. 12 different species of whales also populate this sea. The only agency in France to offer this experience is Grand Nord Grand Large. This agency allows you to join the island of Snow Hill by helicopter. This little gem is to preserve human intentions that would be malicious.
The Mediterranean Sea
Considered to be the “cradle of antiquity”, the Mediterranean Sea is bounded in the North by Europe and in the South by Africa. It is almost completely surrounded by land, hence its Latin name. Its deepest point is 4,400 meters from the surface and is the second smallest sea with an area of 2.9 million km². It is not the most abundant sea of sea creatures, but it plays a vital role in the transportation of goods. It is a real trade route of choice. Regarding scuba diving, the spots are many, full of charm and benefits. From the French coast to the Sicilian islands, via Corsica or Tunisia, the escapades are breathtaking! In Port Cros in the Var, the species are protected and the site is accessible to all levels. In the natural reserve of Ustica in Sicily, fans of volcanoes and sea caves will be filled in warm waters. On the island of Gozo in Malta, it is the wrecks that will catch your attention but also the richness of the underwater fauna of moray eels, scorpion fish, parrot fish, groupers, barracudas etc. In short, a destination appreciated for its varied topography, preserved and colorful seabed’s but also, in general, for all its history.
The Sargasso Sea
Located in the northern part of the Atlantic and famous for sheltering in its waters the mysterious and terrifying Bermuda Triangle with its litany of disappearances all more worrying than the others, the Sargasso Sea covers 3.5 million km², which places it in 3rd position of the largest seas on the planet. Its fame was also built for its lack of coasts the only sea in the world that does not have any and for its abundance of seaweed that made navigation difficult for Columbus. Finally, this sea plays a very important role in the migration of European and American eels. Here this was part of our culture section. In the field of scuba diving, some consider the Bermuda area in the Caribbean as the “world capital of wrecks”. There are no less than 300 in these waters. The temperatures are pleasant all year long and the visibility is between 20 and 30 meters. A real animal sanctuary resides below such as: humpback whales, blue-angel fish, groupers, barracudas, blue surgeon fish, yellow gorillas, reef fish, leopard rays, eagle rays, and turtles that quietly live here. Some dive sites are worth seeing like Barracuda Reef, SouthWest Breaker, The Constellation and Montana.
The Southern China Sea
The Southern China Sea, also known as the South China Sea, is not the biggest sea in the world, but it does not have to be ashamed of its beautiful silver medal. With an impressive area of 3.5 million km², it indeed occupies the second place in our ranking of the largest seas in the world. It is surrounded by the island of Taiwan, the Philippine archipelago and Malaysia. This sea is quite enigmatic for its maritime areas that we cannot always identify. By this, we mean hundreds of islands, atolls, reefs and lagoons often covered by water at high tide. For scuba diving, destinations in the China Sea are a paradise for divers from around the world for their diversity and richness at all levels. The coral gardens thrive along a diverse underwater architecture made of drop-offs and caves that lead to sublime shipwrecks. Large pelagics such as dolphins of several species, rays, whales and sharks abound in warm waters with sometimes violent currents. In short, everything is here to make your experience the most rewarding and memorable. Whether diving on the island of Komodo, Layang Layang, on the island of Sipadan or Bali, the change of scenery will be present and with guaranteed sensations. All you have to do is book your plane ticket!
The Arabian Sea, the largest sea in the world
The golden palm of the biggest sea in the world comes down to * you can hear the roll of drums * THE ARABIAN SEA, also called the Arabian Sea. Its surface is INCREDIBLE, not less than 3.8 million km² and its depths are unequaled with up to 5 800 meters. It is located in a part of the Indian Ocean and its geographical position is a major strategic stake for the transport of energy resources, mainly oil and it is a very popular fishing zone for the coastal countries like India, Pakistan or Maldives. In addition, it is a sea full of history that has undergone centuries of mutation and denomination changes. However, in recent years, a phenomenon worries scientists. An oxygen-free zone in the middle of the Arabian Sea is taking on more and more importance. Its consequences would impact the climate and cause the death of certain underwater species. This is an important problem at the scientific level but also real for the economy. This might stop some of you from practicing scuba diving in the area but do not worry! Diving trips are mainly in the Sultanate of Oman. Here, the coasts and the reefs are preserved. There are magnificent geological formations and colorful coral, more than 20 species of cetaceans and a total of 900 listed species. In the Daymaniyat Islands Marine Park, in the Dhofar region or in Muscat, the vegetation is lush and the topography very diverse. Quality is present in the Arabian Sea and its authenticity is unique in the world. Each spot has its story to tell, yours could start here.
We hope to have caught your attention and interest in this article on the world’s largest oceans and seas, and hope to have enriched your already very rich knowledge! For more information on dive sites and key destinations to explore, we invite you to browse our comprehensive site and to share your comments. Thank you for visiting us and see you soon, for new adventures.