Atlantic Ocean Facts for Kids

Top Ten Facts about the Atlantic Ocean

Here are our Top Ten Atlantic Ocean Facts for Kids with lots of useful info for school projects, and general knowledge, of course! What you definitely should know about the Atlantic Ocean:

1. Location: Where is the Atlantic Ocean?

The Equator divides the Atlantic Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean and is located between Americas to the West of the Atlantic Ocean basin and the continents of Europe and Africa to the East. The Equator divides the Atlantic Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean.

Below you can see a world map showing the Atlantic Ocean: 

Simply click the + and - signs on the left of the map and zoom into the map to see more about the bordering countries and to locate some of the islands, cities and ports we mention in the text below. 

Atlantic Ocean Islands: The Bahamas

There are many islands in the Atlantic Oceans, among the most well-known are:

  • The Bahamas
  • Canary Islands (Spain)
  • Azores (Portugal)
  • Cap Verde Islands
  • Greenland, which not only is the largest island in the Atlantic Ocean, but also on earth.

2. Name: What does 'atlantic' mean? 

The word ’Atlantic ’ originates from the Greek mythology meaning ‘Sea of Atlas’. Atlas was the titan who had to stand on the edge of the earth and carry the heavens (celestial spheres) on his shoulders as punishment from Zeus as Atlas had fought against the Olympian gods for the control of the heavens.

3. Size: How big is the Atlantic Ocean? 

The Atlantic is the world’s second largest ocean and covers 25% of the Earth’s surface, after the Pacific Ocean. In size the Atlantic Ocean is comparable with roughly 6.5 times the size of the USA.

4. Depth: How deep is the Atlantic Ocean? 

The greatest depth is the Milwaukee Deep in Puerto Rico: 8,605 metres/28,232 ft. The average depth is about 3,339 metres/10,955 ft. The Mid-Adtlantic Ridge is an underwater (also called submarine) mountain range which extends roughly from Iceland in the north to South Georgia and South Sandwich Island south of Argentina. The ridge divides the sea into two major basins, which are over 3,000 metres/9,843 ft. in depth. On the satellite image to the left, you can see the vertical (from top to bottom) light blue line in the deep blue sea.

5. Temperature: How warm are the waters of the Atlantic Ocean?

The temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean depend on the location and on the ocean's currents. The nearer to the Equator the warm the water tends to be. The higher temperature of 28 degrees Celsius/82 degrees Fahrenheit is reached in coastal regions near the equator and the minimum temperatures is around -2 degrees Celsius/28 degrees Fahrenheit in the polar regions.

More Atlantic Ocean Facts

Rock of Gibraltar

6. Important Waterways: The Straits of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco and the Bosporus in Turkey are two of the most well known waterways in the Atlantic Ocean.

7. Atlantic Ocean Facts:  Among the major seaports of the Atlantic Ocean, remember these major ports:

Rotterdam by Axel Bueckert/Shutterstock.comPort of Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Rotterdam (Netherlands), the biggest container port in Europe.
  • Hamburg (Germany)
  • New York (USA)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Colon (Panama), the largest port on the Atlantic Ocean in Latin America with over 3 million containers per year!

8.    Width: The greatest width of the ocean is between Brazil and Sierra Leone: 2,848 km or 1770 miles.

9. Atlantic Ocean Facts: Some other big cities on the Atlantic Ocean are:

  • Miami (USA)
  • Sao Paolo (Brazil)
  • Cape Town (South Africa)
  • Lagos (Nigeria)
  • Casablanca (Morocco)
  • Lisbon (Portugal)
  • London (UK)
  • Reykjavik (Iceland)
Beach Huts in Cape Town, South Africa

10. Did you know? Leif Erikson (970-1020) is remembered as the first ‘European’ to reach North America more than 500 years before Columbus!

The Icelander  is said to have been the first man from Europe to cross the Atlantic Ocean and step onto North American land. He named the eastern coast of Canada ‘Vinland’, which is believed to be what is now Newfoundland.

Find out more about Iceland's attractions here

Picture Credits for Atlantic Ocean Facts Page:

Read more on the Atlantic Ocean in the CIA World Fact Book

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