The Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean

Video. Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala reviews general facts about the Atlantic Ocean.


3 - 12+


Biology, Earth Science, Oceanography, Geography, Physical Geography

If you had to draw the boundaries of the Earth's oceans on a map, would you be able to? The answer is no—because there is really only one "world ocean." Oceanographers have divided the world ocean into four principal areas, or basins: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Ocean basins. The Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean basins merge into icy waters around Antarctica. Some oceanographers define this as a fifth ocean, usually called the Antarctic or Southern Ocean basin.

This video focuses on the Atlantic Ocean basin and is taken from the interactive online game, My Ocean. Test your ocean knowledge and learn about the different basins of the world ocean by playing here.

Fast Fact

  • The Atlantic Ocean is home to the legendary "Bermuda Triangle." Believers in the Bermuda Triangle claim the region—an officially unrecognized area between Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and the island of Bermuda—is the site of an unusually high number of disappearances of aircraft and ships.

Fast Fact

  • The Atlantic Ocean was named after Atlas, a character from Greek mythology who supported the heavens on his shoulders.

Fast Fact

  • The Mid-Atlantic Ridge—the longest mountain range on the planet—extends from north of the Arctic Circle all the way down past the tip of Africa. Most of it is underwater, but some parts of it are visible as islands, such as Iceland, the Azores (an autonomous region of Portugal), and Ascension Island (a British Overseas Territory).

Fast Fact

  • The Atlantic Ocean is, on average, the world's saltiest ocean.

Fast Fact

  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest ocean in the world and covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface.
Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Samantha Zuhlke, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Marshall Daly, National Geographic Society
Mary Ford, National Geographic Society

Narrator: Enric Sala
Audiovisual: Steven Pickard
Scripts/Support: John Grotland, Barrett Worthington

Last Updated

September 27, 2022

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Related Resources

National Science Foundation