How many miles is the atlantic ocean: How big is the Atlantic Ocean?

How Deep is the Atlantic Ocean?


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The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world and covers nearly 1/5th (20%) of the globe. With how large the Atlantic Ocean is, it is a little scary to imagine just how deep the ocean is! Most of the ocean has not been explored by scientists.

The first written document mentioning the Atlantic Ocean was the Histories of Herodotus. Atlantikôi pelágei wrote the document in 450 BC. The Atlantic Ocean translates to the island of Atlas.

Are you ready to learn how depth of the Atlantic Ocean and more fun facts about this massive body of water?

What is the Average Depth of the Atlantic Ocean?

The maximum recorded depth for the Atlantic Ocean is 27,841.


There is a big difference between the average depth of a body of water and the deepest point. The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is 3,646 m (11,962 ft). Wow, how deep! Can you imagine trying to swim to the bottom?

Want to know something even more impressive? The shore length of the Atlantic Ocean is 111,866 km (69,510 mi). Out of the seven continents in the world, the Atlantic touches four of them: Europe, Africa, South America, and North America. The Atlantic Ocean is so large that it is frequently divided into ‘North’ and ‘South’. The currents of each ocean influence the weather, like storms and hurricanes.

Hurricanes are very common in the Atlantic Ocean and typically form in the deeper sections of the ocean. The warmer waters, mixed with the even warm Sahara summer winds for the best conditions for intense hurricanes. In 1933, 20 storms formed over the Atlantic. That record was shattered in 2005 when 28 storms formed. In 2020 it was beaten once again by a total of 30.

What is the Deepest Point in the Atlantic Ocean?


The deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean is 27,481 feet (8,376 meters). This section of the Atlantic Ocean is in the Milwaukee Deep and is also known as the Puerto Rico Trench. For years, explorers tried to dive to the bottom without luck. In 1964, the bottom of this massive trench was finally explored. More recently, robotic vehicles have been sent to the bottom of the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean to give researchers a better look at what lives on the bottom of this deep sea environment.

The Atlantic Ocean surrounds many continents and ends at a deep trench in Puerto Rico.

© Rodriguez Caraballo

Most humans can only swim 60 feet down safely before having to come back for air. Even with equipment, the deepest anyone has ever gone is 35,853 feet (10,927 meters), a record from the Marianas Trench. Victor Vescovo, an explorer, descended into the Pacific Ocean, reaching the bottom where there were colorful rocks and strange small animals.

What Animals Live in the Deep Waters of the Atlantic Ocean?

Whale sharks live deep in the western Atlantic Ocean .

©Katja Tsvetkova/

You probably don’t want to imagine the large and strange animals hiding in the deep blue sea, I get it! But it is also interesting. We have only explored and discovered about 5% of the ocean, so our knowledge of deep-sea creatures is limited.

In the Atlantic Ocean, though, you can find animals like schools of small fish and large aquatic mammals. The sperm whale, orca whale, blue whale, and humpback whale are common throughout the body of water. Sperm whales can even make dives of around 8,000 feet, putting them deep into the Atlantic waters. Shark species like nurse, make, and hammerhead sharks also share the waters.

But, what animals are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean? Recently, various deep sea expeditions have uncovered unique sea creatures like the frilled shark and the giant spider crab. The frilled shark is considered a living fossil since it appears to be old. It is rare to find one as they live in depths up to 5,000 feet. Other large deep sea sharks include the Greenland shark, megamouth shark, and goblin shark.

Which Ocean has the Deepest Point?

From the 5% of the ocean we have mapped out, the deepest known point is the Marianas Trench. This trench is massive and crescent-shaped, located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is about 36,000 feet deep, which is deeper than Mount Everest is tall. The average width of the Marianas Trench is 43 miles. Only three people have dared to dive into the deepest depths of the trench.

Interesting Facts About the Atlantic Ocean

Listed below are some fun and interesting facts about the Atlantic Ocean!

  • The approximate volume of the entire Atlantic Ocean is 310,410,900 km3 (74,471,500 cu mi).
  • While the Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean, it is also the youngest since it formed during the Jurassic Period.
  • The Atlantic Ocean hides the Mid-Atlantic Ridge mountains which are over 10,000 miles long.
  • Many large mountain ranges surround the Atlantic Ocean as well, contributing to the high salt levels in the body of water.
  • Industrial pollution and overfishing is killing the large and diverse population in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Nearly all Sea Turtles choose to nest in Atlantic beach coast lines, specifically in Florida. Sadly, these adorable creatures are decreasing in numbers because of climate change. Less male sea turtles are being born.
  • There is a lot we do not know about the underwater Mid-Atlantic Ridge mountain chain. Actually, we know more about Mars than the mountain chain.
  • The Atlantic is home to a lot of firsts, including the first airplane and ship to cross a major ocean.

The Featured Image

Sky, waterline and underwater background. Ocean. Deep Ocean.


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I have been a professional content writer for 6 years now, with a large focus on nature, gardening, food, and animals. I graduated from college with an A.A, but I am still pursuing a Bachelors of Marketing degree. When I am not writing, you can find me in front of my TV with a blanket, snacks, and my fur babies.

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Atlantic Ocean — WorldAtlas

Oceans cover about 70. 8% of the Earth’s surface. They serve as the planet’s largest habitat and also helps in regulating the global climate. The World Ocean is divided into five major regions; the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean is the world’s second-largest Ocean after the Pacific Ocean. It covers approximately 29% of the total water surface and 20% of the Earth’s total area. The Atlantic is S-shaped and sandwiched between North and South America to the west and Africa and Europe to the east. It is connected to the other four world’s oceans and divided into North Atlantic and South Atlantic Ocean by the equatorial counter current.


  • Origin Of The Name
  • Origin And Development
  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Hydrology
  • Brief History
  • Marine Life
  • Threats

Origin Of The Name

The oldest recorded mention of the name “Atlantic” was in the Histories of Herodotus of Ancient Greek around 450 BC. In the Greek language, the word “Atlantis” loosely translates to “island of Atlas,” or in some texts as “Sea of Atlas.” However, even until 360 BC, there was still no mention of the ocean in any written language, except for its mythological description by a Greek philosopher named Plato.

According to Greek mythology, Atlas (from where the Atlantic is derived) was a god responsible for holding up the sky for eternity. Atlas was given the responsibility of bearing the Earth’s weight by Zeus. In most of the images, Atlas is depicted as bending while supporting a weight (Earth) on his shoulder. Besides the Atlantic Ocean, the Atlas Mountains and water bodies off the Strait of Gibraltar, are named after him.

Origin And Development

Stages of formation of the continents and oceans of the world today by a process called continental drift.

The Atlantic Ocean’s origin and development are based on plate tectonics and continental shelf theories. The Pangea, an ancient supercontinent, began rifting about 180 million years ago. The rifting caused the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere to drift apart, leading to the Atlantic Ocean Basin formation. As can be seen from the world maps, Europe and North America’s continental shorelines, and those of Africa and South America, almost match. If these continental shelves’ edges are matched, they fit almost perfectly. 

The Atlantic Ocean’s underwater is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), a submarine mountain range, which runs approximately 190 miles between the North Pole and Bouvet Island. The ridge divides the ocean into two halves, with each half having series of basins, delimited by other ridges. Although most of the MAR is submerged underwater, some sections reach the water surface as volcanic islands. Nine of the MAR’s volcanic islands have been designated World Heritage Site because of their geological significance. MAR’s geology and physiography have been studied widely to understand the plate tectonic theory that led to the Atlantic Ocean formation.


Map showing the Atlantic Ocean basin location.

The Atlantic Ocean covers about 41.1 million square miles or 20% of the Earth’s total area. The North Atlantic Ocean spans 16.02 million square miles, while the South Atlantic Ocean covers about 15. 55 million square miles. It is 27,480 feet deep at the deepest point (Puerto Rico Trench) but has an average depth of 11,962 feet below the water surface. Its volume is about 74.5 million cubic miles, while the shore length is 69,510 miles. It is connected in the southwest to the Pacific Ocean, southeast to the Indian Ocean, the Arctic Ocean in the north, and south to the Southern Sea.

The Atlantic Ocean’s coast is characterized by features, such as bays, seas, and gulfs. The Ocean has numerous seas on its margins, of which 42 seas cover at least 3,200 square miles. The Ocean’s largest sea is the Sargasso Sea at 1.35 million square miles. It is the only Atlantic sea with no land boundary. The Caribbean Sea, bordered by Central America, Mexico, and the Greater Antilles, is the second-largest sea, spanning about 1.1 million square miles. Sargasso and the Caribbean Sea are the world’s 5th and 10th largest seas. Other seas of the Atlantic Ocean are the Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Guinea, Gulf of Mexico, Norwegian Sea, Hudson Bay, Greenland Sea, and the Argentinian Sea.    


Stormy weather in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean’s climate is influenced by several factors, including wind, water current, and surface water temperature. Although maritime climates are prevalent, they are moderate with little seasonal variations. The North Atlantic weather is determined by the amount of air mass and wind current originating from North America. Since the atmospheric pressure near Iceland is low, air often flows in a counterclockwise direction. However, the region near the Azores is a high-pressure area. When the low and high atmospheric pressures meet, westerly winds form and prevail across Western Europe and the North Atlantic.

Latitudes determine the Ocean’s climatic zones. The warmer zones prevail on the north of the equator, while the coldest zones are on higher latitudes. The coldest regions are mainly areas covered by ice. The ocean currents play an important role in determining the climate by transporting cold or warm water to other regions. Cool or warm winds influence the climate of the surrounding areas when they blow over these currents. 


The ocean’s surface water temperature is influenced by factors, such as seasons, the current system, and latitude. It ranges from 28 degrees Fahrenheit to over 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperatures are recorded north of the equator, while Polar Regions record minimum values. Sea ice often covers the ocean’s surface between October and June in Denmark Strait, Labrador Sea, and Baltic Sea. The Coriolis Effect causes the South Atlantic water to circulate in an anticlockwise motion and North Atlantic water to circulate in a clockwise direction.

The Atlantic Ocean is the world’s saltiest ocean, with the salinity level ranging from 3.3% to 3.7%. The surface salinity is influenced by precipitation, evaporation, sea ice melting, and inflow from rivers. The region to the north of the equator has the lowest saline values due to heavy tropical rains. The tropical regions are the most saline due to the high evaporation rate and low precipitation. 

The Atlantic tides have been studied since ancient times. As early as 600 CE, Monks observed the tidal movements along the English coast to understand the relationship between the tides and phases of the moon and the sun’s position. The Atlantic basin tides are considered a single phenomenon. Several complex factors influence the tides’ speed, dimension, course, and behavior, including seafloor topography, seafloor features, and current and wind patterns. Semidiurnal, the most prevalent tide, is characterized by two low and two high tides daily and occurs on the ocean’s eastern margins. Mixed tides are prevalent in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Brief History

Christopher Columbus was among the first explorers to cross the Atlantic Ocean and reach the New World that is now the Americas.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed to America’s coast under the Spanish flag. In 1498, Vasco da Gama proved that the Indian and Atlantic oceans were connected, after successfully reaching India through the Cape of Good Hope under the Portuguese flag. Two years later, Pedro Alvares Cabral’s vessel drifted to Brazil while on his way to India. Soon after, the Spanish and Portuguese colonized much of the New World territories and confined the Amerindians to slavery. However, the two colonizers frequently conflicted, leading to series of Spanish-Portuguese Wars.

Between the 15th and the late 19th centuries, the Atlantic slave trade thrived across the Atlantic Ocean, with over ten million Africans exported to the Americas as slaves. The US and British Empire officially abolished the slave trade in 1808, but slavery was abolished in 1838 (by the British) and 1865 (by the US). Trans-Atlantic trade was crucial for Europe between 1500 and 1800, with countries such as pain, Portugal, France, Britain, and the Netherlands having direct access to the ocean.    

Marine Life

A family of humpback whales in the ocean.

The Atlantic Ocean is home to innumerable species of marine flora and fauna. It ranges from microscopic algae and phytoplanktons as primary producers to apex predators like whales, sharks, etc. The ocean is also home to several threatened marine animals including several species of sea turtles, whales, manatees, etc. Thousands of fish species live in the ocean and provide food and a source of livelihood through fishing for millions of people. 

Read MoreWhat Animals Live In The Atlantic Ocean?


Trash build-up on the beach enters the ocean polluting the marine environment and ultimately entering human bodies through the food chain.

Marine pollution is a major issue currently threatening the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean. Littering along the beaches, the dumping of wastes and sewage into the ocean waters, and polluted rivers emptying into the ocean, are some of the sources polluting the Atlantic Ocean. Climate change also threatens the flora and fauna of the ocean and the lives of those living along the Atlantic coastline. As per predictions by researchers, warmer sea surface temperature will result in a increased hurricane activity over the Atlantic. Fishing stocks are also decreasing in the ocean due to unregulated and indiscriminate fishing practices by many countries. The problem of bycatch is also killing threatened marine fauna like turtles and whales. 

John Misachi March 25 2021 in Bodies of Water

A woman crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time — RBC


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An American athlete became the first woman in the world to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. It took 24 days for 58-year-old Jennifer Figge to break the record.

Jennifer began her long journey in the African islands of Cape Verde and ended off the coast of Trinidad in South America. How many kilometers the athlete covered exactly has not yet been calculated, but it is already clear that she went down in history as the first woman to conquer the Atlantic Ocean.

The swimmer made her dangerous journey inside a cage that protected her from sharks. On the day, the woman swam for eight hours in a row, after which she climbed into the boat accompanying her for rest and food. According to team members, from time to time the athlete was thrown into the water with energy drinks: the January ocean did not always greet Jennifer with calmness, and sometimes the height of the waves reached nine meters.

According to J. Fige, initially she intended to sail to the Bahamas. In the near future, she plans to complete her journey and sail from Trinidad to the British Virgin Islands. “I was not afraid. Looking back, I can say that I would not have changed anything,” the athlete said in an interview with reporters.

By the way, the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean was Benoit Lekomte, an American of French origin. He swam for 72 days and covered a distance of 5600 km, thus making the longest swim in the history of world navigation.


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Fedor Konyukhov crossed the Atlantic — Newspaper Kommersant No. 219 (2588) dated 03.12.2002


1 minute.


Russian rower Fyodor Konyukhov crossed the Atlantic Ocean alone on a rowing boat «UralAZ», setting an absolute world record, covering 2526 nautical miles (4678 km) in 46 days and 4 minutes!
The Russian started his rowing marathon on the UralAZ boat on October 16 from the port of the Spanish city of San Sebastian on the island of La Gomera, which is part of the Canary Islands group, and finished on December 1 on the island of Barbados (the Antilles group). Thus, the former world record for crossing the Atlantic — 57 days 14 hours 30 minutes — owned by the Frenchman Emmanuel Coindra, was beaten and improved in more than 11 days!
In addition, during the voyage, the Russian traveler three times broke the world record for a weekly rowing trip in the Atlantic, set by the same Couandre in 2001 — 426 miles. First he covered this result by 21 miles, then he showed the result of 499 miles, the last achievement — 505 miles.
To explain why Konyukhov crossed the Atlantic so quickly, you can use the vast experience of the traveler — he has three round-the-world voyages to his account — and excellent knowledge of navigation. Konyukhov had 12 maps of various regions of the Atlantic Ocean with indications of all the predominant winds and currents. Therefore, the boat smoothly passed from one passing current to another, which accelerated its progress towards the finish line. Oddly enough, Konyukhov’s success was also facilitated by the most severe 20-day storm, the winds and waves of which went from the Canary Islands to Barbados.

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