The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world. It has an area of about 106,460,000 km2 and lies in-between the Americas on one side, and Europe and Africa on the other; giving it a narrow S-shape. The name is derived from Atlantis, also known as the ‘island of Atlas’.
The Atlantic Ocean is divided in two by the Equatorial Counter Current, with everything north called the North Atlantic Ocean, and everything south the South Atlantic Ocean. The North Atlantic Ocean borders the Arctic Ocean to the north, while the South Atlantic Ocean borders the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast and the Southern Ocean in the south.
Geographically, the North Atlantic Ocean differs from the South Atlantic Ocean by having a lot more islands and tributary seas. The Atlantic Ocean is split up into numerous smaller seas, with the largest three, the Sargasso Sea, the Caribbean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea all being in the Northern part. The North Atlantic Ocean also houses many island nations, such as the UK, Ireland, Iceland and the many nations of the Caribbean.
The Atlantic Ocean has an average depth of 3,646 meters, with a maximum depth of 8,376 meters in the Puerto Rico Trench.
Out of all the world’s oceans, the Atlantic Ocean boasts the largest drainage area. The continents adjacent to it have a slight tendency to slope towards it resulting in large rivers like the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Rio de la Plata, the Congo, the Niger and the Rhine to flow into it.
The Atlantic Ocean plays an important role in many economies, as the shelves of the Atlantic are host to one of the world’s richest fishing resources. It is also home to many endangered marine species like manatees, turtles, dolphins and whales.