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Author Topic: 5 Oceans?  (Read 1319 times)

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Offline ParadoxTopic starter

5 Oceans?
« on: October 19, 2010, 07:38:51 PM »
I was listening to the radio today, and something stood out; specifically, it was someone discussing the five oceans of the world.

When did the fifth ocean come into existence? When I was in school, we learned the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific; now, the marine region around Antarctica is apparently called the "Southern Ocean". Was this to balance the fact that the Northern pole had its own named body of water? Were people at the South Pole jealous?

My main curiosity involves how long ago this started being taught in schools, which schools, and why the decision was made to name a fifth ocean. Today is the first I ever heard of it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 07:44:40 PM by Paradox »

Offline Trieste

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Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 07:52:17 PM »
I had also never heard of it (honestly, I couldn't have told you before that there were four oceans, either, though) but a quick glance at Wiki tells me it's ... maybe not officially an ocean? If it is, it's only been sometime between 2001 and now, because (again according to Wiki) the international water guru-types hadn't yet ratified it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Ocean The definitions previous to that were released in 1953 (which isn't bad; I mean, how often do you have to update the number of oceans on the planet? not much) and there was no Southern Ocean in them.

I guess you've stumbled onto yet another oceanography controversy. Oh, those crazy scientists!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 07:55:22 PM »
I also found that " In the Spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean (it surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude)."

Oddly enough, I also brought this up with an older woman, and she said they taught the 5 oceans back in her day.

She's not very intelligent though; she's now claiming that there are 8, even though her only proof is this:



..it's just broken down by hemisphere, honey. There are still only 5.

Offline Oniya

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Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 08:00:57 PM »
They used to refer to the 'Seven Seas', I know that much.  I vaguely remember hearing of 'The Antarctic Ocean, but I'd have to double-check that on the laminated world--map that we got a few years back for the little one.

Offline Vekseid

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 10:07:57 PM »
It was born when South America broke off from Antartica, allowing a singular, cool thermal current to surround Antartica completely, turn it into a desert and cover it with ice, roughly two million years ago.

It's considered a separate ocean because its waters don't circulate much with the other oceans, so it's useful to consider its properties separately.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 10:15:25 PM »
They used to refer to the 'Seven Seas', I know that much.  I vaguely remember hearing of 'The Antarctic Ocean, but I'd have to double-check that on the laminated world--map that we got a few years back for the little one.

I thought 'seas' were distinctly different from oceans, though. Like, you have the Mediterranean and the Baltic, which are not technically part of any ocean (I think) but also their own marginally discrete bodies of water.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 10:19:13 PM »
Perhaps it's a bit like Pluto or the continent of Australia. Could go either way and it may change.

I can see it being its own ocean because of its very distinct ecosystem. I like the idea of a distinct ecosystem as a determinant...but then I think there would be more like the large hypothesized 8 oceans.

Offline Oniya

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Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 10:56:58 PM »
Well, it isn't in the little Oni's Science book - although she says that her Social Studies book is newer (and therefore might have a newer map in it).

Offline Lilias

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 04:23:48 AM »
I was taught there is such a thing as Southern Ocean (though of course the Greek term wasn't that), and considering when I started doing geography at school, the facts in my book would date from the 70s.

Offline GryphonCompanion

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2010, 11:20:32 AM »
Actually, mariners from the time of Magellan and Columbus referred to 'sailing the seven seas.' Back then I do not think there was much difference between the terms 'ocean' and 'sea.' But the seven seas that they were referring to were like that pic higher in this post. The North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, the South Pacific, the Arctic, the Indian and the Antarctic (or Southern). :)

That's as far as I can recall from reading stories and remembering my elementary history lessons ^_^

GC

Offline Trieste

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Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 01:12:21 PM »
Sailing the 7 seas referred to things like the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Arabian Sea, etc.

Offline Will

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 01:22:05 PM »
I think the meaning of that phrase has shifted over time.

Offline LilBandit

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 01:26:59 PM »
It was born when South America broke off from Antartica, allowing a singular, cool thermal current to surround Antartica completely, turn it into a desert and cover it with ice, roughly two million years ago.

It's considered a separate ocean because its waters don't circulate much with the other oceans, so it's useful to consider its properties separately.
Indeed it occured when the continents split, but there isnt enough proof that it started the current.  According to models ((Presented by my lecturer today infact.. which made me chuckle)) there isnt enough evidence that the simple opening could change the upwellings of deep ocean waters to start the current.  And that it is more likely that the temperature of the planet dropped dramatically, by the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere due to its absorption into rocks (new forming crystals and carbonate rocks).  Which caused the ice, and thus the colder currents.. But honestly.. its all too confusing.  There is only so much a rock can tellyou.

((Im a geologist in training))

Offline Samson64

Re: 5 Oceans?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2010, 03:47:52 AM »
Sailing the 7 seas referred to things like the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Arabian Sea, etc.

I was under the same impression myself, that this was one of those things that dated back to Alexander the Great, and included the Caspian, the Med, and the Adriatic as well.