Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.

At 165.25 million square kilometres (63.8 million square miles) in area, this largest division of the World Ocean – and, in turn, the hydrosphere – covers about 46% of the Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of the Earth's land area combined. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 metres (35,797 ft).

The eastern Pacific Ocean was first sighted by Europeans early in the 16th century. Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and named it Mar del Sur (South Sea). The ocean's current name was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish expedition of world circumnavigation in 1521, who encountered favourable winds as he reached the ocean and called it Mar Pacifico in Portuguese, meaning "peaceful sea".

Read more about Pacific OceanOverview, Water Characteristics, Geology, Landmasses and Islands, History and Economy, Environmental Issues, Major Ports and Harbors

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... and to the explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513, who claimed all the "South Sea" (the entire Pacific Ocean) and the lands adjoining the Pacific Ocean ... now extended far west from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean ... to open trade with the Orient across the Pacific ...
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Famous quotes containing the words ocean and/or pacific:

    The attention of those who frequent the camp-meetings at Eastham is said to be divided between the preaching of the Methodists and the preaching of the billows on the back side of the Cape, for they all stream over here in the course of their stay. I trust that in this case the loudest voice carries it. With what effect may we suppose the ocean to say, “My hearers!” to the multitude on the bank. On that side some John N. Maffit; on this, the Reverend Poluphloisboios Thalassa.
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    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)