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The oceans cover 75% of the earth. They are all connected, but for the purpose of naming them they have been divided. The Atlantic Ocean is found between the eastern coasts of North and South America and the western coasts of Europe and Africa. The Indian stretches from the east coast of Africa across to the west coast of Australia, including the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. The Southern encircles the continent of Antarctica. The Arctic includes a circular area surrounding the North Pole and is frozen solid much of the year.
Physically, it is divided into open water (the pelagic division) and the floor (the benthic division.)
It is also divided into two major life zones. The coastal zone includes the shallow, warmer waters along the coast, full of nutrient-rich matter that supports life. The coastal zone covers everything from the high tide mark to the continental shelf. 90% of all ocean life lives in the coastal zone, though it makes up about 10% of it. It also is the most heavily used by humans for fishing and recreation, so is the most impacted by pollution and over use. The open sea includes the rest of it away from land.
Lastly, it is also divided into vertical zones (from top to bottom). The upper part of the ocean to 656 feet deep (200m) where sunlight can reach is the photic zone (or euphotic zone). Deeper than 656 feet it is dark. This is the aphotic zone (or abyssal zone). Between the two layers is a dimly lit zone called the bathyal zone.
The deepest zone that goes from 19,686 feet to 32,810 feet (10,000 m) is called the trenches or hadalpelagic zone. This depth is only found in deep trenches. Even in these cold, dark places there are animals; like starfish and worms that survive.
There are a huge number and variety of animals that live in the ocean. Countless species of fish, marine mammals. This list is very long but it is good to mention at least few of them. Some of them are whales and dolphins. There are many kinds of sharks, jellyfish, sting rays and many, many other kinds.
There are many kinds of plants as well. The most important plant may be the smallest, phytoplankton. This microscopic algae floats on the surface and uses sunlight to make energy through photosynthesis.
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