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Atlantic Ocean

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Travel Guide Atlantic Ocean

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Introduction

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

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The Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding seas cover about 22% of the Earth's surface, making it the second largest of the oceans after the Pacific Ocean. Ever since the supercontinent of Pangea drifted apart, the ocean separated North America and South America from Europe and Africa.

Around the year 1000 AD, Leif Erikson, a Norse explorer from Iceland, became probably the first European[1] to discover the other side of the Atlantic, 500 years before Christopher Colombus. Leif explored Vinland, a small settlement experts believed to be located at the northern tip of Newfoundland.

In the 15th century, the Portuguese discovered Madeira and the Azores, clearing the path for Columbus' great discovery. Ever since then, there have been people trying to be the first to cross the Atlantic in all kind of ways, including flying, sailing, rowing and even swimming.

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Geography

The Atlantic is an S-shaped ocean between the before mentioned continents. In the north it is separated by the Arctic ocean, by Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Jan Mayen and mainland Europe. In the south the border is somewhat unclear, as some authorities let it extend until the Antarctica, while others placed the border at the 60º parallel. In the southeast, of the Atlantic Ocean, there is the 'border'with the Indian Ocean, mostly defined as the 20° East meridian, running south from Cape Agulhas to Antarctica.
Since 2000, there has been a fifth world ocean, the Southern Ocean. The border of this ocean coincides with the 60º South Latitude, coinciding again with the Antarctic Treaty Limit.
Moreover, the southern borders of the Atlantic Ocean mostly are still drawn south towards Antarctica. Therefore, also the islands in that region are listed below.

The Mid Atlantic Ridge is a spectacular mountain like feature on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean running in a North-South direction along the entire length of the Atlantic. This ridge has divergent currents which is pushing the continents further apart and expanding the Atlantic, which in turn is shrinking the Pacific Ocean. It is generally believed that this expanding/shrinking is happening at the rate of 2 inches per year. Many of the islands that lie on top of the ridge, are volcanic by nature, Iceland being the most prominent.

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Regions

The Atlantic Ocean can be subdivided into the North Atlantic and South Atlantic. Here you will find a list of most major countries and islands, though it is beyond the scope of this article to name all islands.

North Atlantic

North

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

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East

West

South Atlantic

South

Ascension Island 2

Ascension Island 2

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Antarctic Region

References

  1. 1 Leif Erikson. History. BBC. Retrieved on 2009–09–08.

Quick Facts

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Area
106,400,000 km²
Volume
354.700.000 km³
Deepest point
Milwaukee Deep −8.605 metres

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This is version 15. Last edited at 19:31 on Sep 26, 09 by Utrecht. 138 articles link to this page.

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