The Indian Ocean is the third largest in the world covering close to a 1/4 of the water on the Earth’s surface. The warm temperatures maintained by the Indian Ocean make it highly susceptible to monsoons, cyclones, tsunami’s, and strong winds. In 2004, there was an earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC The quake itself is known “by the scientific community as the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake“. The earthquake was caused by subduction (an area of convergence where one tectonic plate moves under another) and triggered a series of devastating tsunami’s resulting in over 226,000 deaths, while over 1 million people were left homeless.
In 1970, there was a catastrophic cyclone that struck E.Pakistan and India’s West Bengal . Close to 500,000 people lost their lives in the storm, chiefly as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta. Till this day, the Bhola cyclone was recorded as one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern times.
2. Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the “second-largest ocean in the world measuring about 106.4 million square kilometres .” The Atlantic is significantly affected by coastal winds, water currents, and the temperature of the water surface. Considering the Atlantic Ocean is so vast, there are certain areas that are far more affected by extreme weather and destruction. The Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift are known to warm the atmosphere of north-western Europe, along with the British Isles. The cold water contributes to heavy fog off the coast of eastern Canada and the north-western coast of Africa. Of course, one of the most notorious disasters that occured in the Atlantic Ocean was on April 15, 1912 when the RMS Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg, resulting in the loss of more than 1,500 lives. Icebergs (large blocks of broken glaciers floating in the water)-are common in the Northwest areas of the Atlantic and “have been spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands.” Ships that travel in the surrounding areas are subject to superstructure icing, which is water that freezes on contact, causing the boat to capsize and sink. Tropical Storm Allison was the first storm of the season and lasted 15 days. The storm initially developed in the northern Gulf of Mexico on June 4, 2001, and struck the greater Texas coast shortly thereafter. The storm headed north through the state before turning south, and re-entered the Gulf of Mexico. The storm continued to the northeast, making landfall on Louisiana, then it headed on a southeasterly course across the United States.
3. Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world covering over 65.3 million square miles. Its name comes from the Latin name “Mare Pacificum, “peaceful sea”, bestowed upon it by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.” Contrary to popular belief, the Pacific is far from peaceful. In fact, many tropical cyclones inflict devastating affects on the islands. Not only that, the lands around the Pacific are full of volcanoes and often affected by earthquakes. Tsunamis, which are cause by underwater earthquakes, have devastated many islands and destroyed entire towns.
In the Pacific, marine pollution is by far the biggest culprit of destruction. Chemicals used as fertilizers in agriculture as well as waste from livestock and humans run into the ocean. The excess chemicals that deplete the oxygen in the water create a type of dead zone (an aquatic area with very little life).
4. Mediterranean Sea
In contrast to the many destructive oceans in the world, pollution in this region has been quite disastrous in recent years. In fact, the” United Nations Environment Programme has estimated that 650 million tons of sewage, 129,000 tons of mineral oil, 60,000 tons of mercury, 3,800 tons of lead and 36,000 tons of phosphates are dumped into the Mediterranean each year.” The Mediterranean Monk Seal is among the world’s most endangered marine mammals because of sea pollution. In fact, according to a 1994 study of the seabed using nets around the coasts of Spain, France and Italy, there was an average of 1,935 items per square kilometre found the floor of the sea. “Plastic debris accounted for 76%, of which 94% was plastic bags.”
5. Aegean Sea: The Legend of Atlantis
The name “Aegean” was said to be named after the town of Aegae, or possibly the queen of the Amazons who died in the sea, “or Aigaion, the “sea goat”, another name of Briareus, one of the archaic Hecatonchires, or, especially among the Athenians, Aegeus, the father of Theseus, who drowned himself in the sea when he thought his son had died.” During the 1970s, the Islands of Thera became a topic of international importance. Geological sediment samples were taken near the island, and the conclusion was that the sediments may have been linked with a possible explanation of the ancient legend of the lost island of Atlantis.
6. Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara, or rather Propontis, was a sea that the Greeks sailed through to reach the Black Sea. According to legend, a great storm broke out on Propontis bringing the Argonauts back to an island they had left.
However, there was a conflict which resulted in the murder of King Cyzicus. Cyzicus ruled over the Dolionians, a tribe that inhabited the southern shore of the Propontis.
Interesting Marmara Facts
* İmralı is an island on the Marmara sea where Abdullah Öcalan is imprisoned.
* On December 29, 1999, the Russian oil tanker Volgoneft broke in two in the Sea of Marmara, and more than 1500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the water.
* The North Anatolian fault runs under the sea. This particular fault has trggered many major earthquakes including the İzmit Earthquake of 1999.
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