The ocean covers 72 per cent of the Earth's surface and is home to the planet's tallest mountains and deepest valleys. It is also home to a variety of plants and animals, some of which have yet to be discovered. Learning some fun facts about ocean life may be just the stimulus your little ones need to become interested in marine life, oceanography or marine biology.
Millions of species
The ocean is home to more than 1 million named species of animal life. Some scientists say there may be as many as 9 million species out there that have yet to be identified. That leaves a lot of room for exploration, as there is a lot about the ocean that has yet to be discovered.
According to the Smithsonian's Ocean Planet, the ocean is home to the largest animal ever recorded on land or in the ocean. The blue whale can grow to 30 m (100 feet) long and weigh as much as 90,718 kg (200,000 lb).
The Smithsonian's Ocean Planet also reports that some fish can change gender throughout the course of their lives, meaning they can start out as a female and end up with male organs during their lifetime. Some fish that live in the deepest, darkest recesses of the ocean even have both male and female parts on their bodies at one time.
While films like "Jaws" can make it look like shark attacks pose a real risk to people in the ocean, that isn't necessarily the case. According to Marine Bio, sharks attack between 50 and 75 people each year, resulting in about 8 to 12 deaths. While this may sound like a lot, elephants, crocodiles and even bees kill more people every year.
Air pollution and water pollution
Air pollution is the cause of about a third of the pollution that ends up in the ocean. A lot of this contamination comes from polluted runoff from rivers and streams that lead into the ocean.