Most of us landlubbers reside out our dry lives on strong floor, so it may be straightforward to neglect that Earth is primarily an ocean planet that’s 71% lined in water—most of which connects in an enormous blue mass round our little inexperienced islands. Ocean, sea, it’s all the identical salt water, proper?
Sure and no. Normally use, it’s extraordinarily frequent for the 2 phrases for use interchangeably. However cartographers and geographers (or, extra exactly, hydrographers) have good motive to make use of the phrases in a different way, particularly when referring to particular, named our bodies of water.
You're reading: what is difference between sea and ocean
Be part of us as we wade into the variations and dive into the deeper distinctions between ocean and sea. We’ll uncover gulfs and bays which might be seas in disguise, and we’ll even see some lakes which might be known as seas however aren’t.
⚡️ Fast abstract
Probably the most common senses of the phrases ocean and sea are sometimes used interchangeably to discuss with the massive physique of salt water that covers most of Earth. However technically talking, an ocean is likely one of the huge 5 (or seven) divisions of this expanse (just like the Atlantic and the Pacific), whereas a sea is a smaller portion of this (just like the Mediterranean and the Caribbean), sometimes one that’s bounded ultimately by smaller landmasses.
What’s an ocean?
When folks say the ocean, they often imply “the huge physique of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of Earth’s floor.” You’ll be able to consider this as one huge, unbounded physique of water wherein the continents are islands. We’ve divided this huge expanse—the world ocean, because it’s generally known as—into sections, roughly based mostly on the place of every part between continents.
We additionally name every of those sections an ocean, and every has a selected title: the Pacific Ocean (from the east coasts of Asia and Australia to west coasts of the Americas), the Atlantic Ocean (from the east coasts of the Americas to the west coasts of Europe and Africa), the Indian Ocean (between the east coast of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and the west coast of Australia), the Arctic Ocean (within the excessive world north), and the Antarctic Ocean (within the excessive world south).
The Pacific and the Atlantic are the most important and are additional divided into the North Atlantic and South Atlantic; and the North Pacific and South Pacific. So should you depend these divisions, you’ll find yourself with a listing of seven oceans (as an alternative of 5).
What’s a sea?
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Normally, when folks say the ocean, they usually imply the identical factor because the ocean—the large, related physique of salt water that covers a lot of the planet. Extra particularly, although, a sea is “a division of those waters, of appreciable extent, kind of positively marked off by land boundaries.” On this sense, the distinguishing characteristic of a sea is usually that it’s a portion of the ocean bounded by land ultimately—sometimes smaller landmasses, versus complete continents.
Some giant and well-known seas that match this definition embrace the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, and the Crimson Sea, amongst many others.
Some our bodies of water are fully surrounded by land, however are large enough to be thought of seas, such because the Black Sea.
Not each physique of water is well categorizable, and there are exceptions and outliers. The comparatively calm portion of the Atlantic Ocean often called the Sargasso Sea isn’t bounded by any land however is as an alternative outlined by its location between ocean currents.
Not each physique of water that’s technically thought of a sea has the phrase sea in its title. The Gulf of Mexico and the Bay of Bengal match the standards to be thought of seas. Hudson Bay is taken into account an inland sea.
And, confusingly, not each physique of water with sea in its title is definitely a sea. The Caspian Sea and the Lifeless Sea are each saltwater lakes. The Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake.
There are greater than 50 seas on this planet. So why are we so used to listening to that there are seven?
What are the seven seas?
At the moment, the time period seven seas sometimes refers back to the seven divisions of ocean: the North Pacific Ocean, the South Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and the Antarctic Ocean.
Nonetheless, it has meant various things all through historical past. Many geographers and historians imagine that, within the historical world, it mostly referred to the Indian Ocean, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Crimson Sea. However this seemingly assorted in numerous elements of the world the place totally different our bodies of water had been identified.
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The right way to use ocean vs. sea
In probably the most common sense, sea and ocean are sometimes used interchangeably to discuss with the large physique of salt water that covers a lot of the planet.
The technical distinction used for the needs of geography is that an ocean is likely one of the 5 (or seven) divisions of those waters, whereas a sea is a smaller portion of the ocean, most frequently one bounded by land ultimately.
It’s more likely for folks to discuss with a selected ocean as the ocean than for them to discuss with a selected sea because the ocean.
Each phrases are generally utilized in phrases and compound phrases like seaside, oceanside, seawater, ocean liner, seascape, and plenty of extra. These phrases are sometimes used within the common sense of the phrases, or refer particularly to no matter physique of water is close by.
Each ocean and sea will also be utilized in related figurative methods to discuss with a big expanse, as in a sea of individuals, or a large amount, as in an ocean of potentialities. Sea is probably extra generally utilized in poetic methods.
Examples of ocean and sea utilized in a sentence
- The Indian Ocean is the smallest of the world’s oceans.
- The Coral Sea is a part of the Pacific Ocean and is likely one of the largest seas on this planet.
- I like swimming within the sea and floating on the waves.
- I hope we get an opportunity to go to the ocean this summer season.
- We’re driving to the coast to see the Pacific Ocean and keep at a seaside resort.
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