Difference Between Ocean and Sea

Difference between Ocean and Sea is fundamentally important to understand, as one must be familiar with their surroundings and as Earth is 75% water, with only 25% of land. It is important for everyone to understand the basic characteristics of the ocean and the sea, that distinguish them from each other. Both the oceans and seas are large water bodies, to be precise, saltwater bodies.

What Is An Ocean?

An ocean is nothing but a gigantic mass of water body covering 70% of the earth. It covers almost three-fourths of the surface of the earth. It is a large saltwater body.  As per the geographical divisions, there are five oceans in the world.

  • Atlantic ocean
  • Indian ocean
  • Pacific ocean
  • Arctic ocean
  • Antarctic ocean

Pacific ocean is the largest ocean and Arctic ocean is the smallest. Oceans are deeper than the sea and have comparatively less marine life. The movement of currents in the oceans affects the weather of the world.

What Is A Sea?

A sea is defined as a small subset of the ocean, where it meets the land. Any mass of the body that subsects and meets the land is called the sea.

Sea is a saltwater body that is either girdled by land on almost all sides or it is part of one of the above-mentioned oceans of the earth. This is why seas are often either fully or partially enclosed seas. For example, the Arabian Sea, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea, etc. Meditteranean sea is the largest sea on earth.

Thus, from this, we know that a sea forms a smaller portion of the ocean and it is usually the area where the land meets the ocean. It also helps to know the classification of the animal kingdom, as one can have a full understanding of the ocean aquatic life.

Difference Between Sea and Ocean

Seas and oceans are distinct from each other in various aspects. A sea forms a part of the ocean. Sea can be found on the land regions, unlike oceans. Listed below are the differences between sea and ocean.

Difference Between Sea And Ocean

OCEAN SEA
A gigantic mass of water is termed as the Ocean. A smaller portion of the ocean, where the water meets the land is termed as the Sea.
An ocean is usually huge with little to no land near it. They are usually termed infinite or boundless. A sea is usually enclosed partially or completely by land.
Light cannot penetrate deep inside the ocean beds Light passes through the water to the sea bed as they are shallow. Hence light can reach the bottom.
It is impossible to reach the ocean bed, as the waters are incredibly deep. It is possible to reach the sea bed to extract samples from the sea bed.
Oceans are away from land hence aquatic life is scarce. Aquatic existence is abundant as seas exist around the land.
Primary life forms seen existing are bacteria, shrimp, microscopic planktons, etc. Turtle, tuna, sharks are the primary life forms found in the sea.
Oceans are much deeper than seas. Land usually enclose seawaters hence they are not as deep.

To know more about what is the difference between sea and ocean, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the smallest ocean in the world?

The smallest ocean on the planet earth is the Arctic ocean.

Which is the sea that is known to be the only sea without shores?

The only known sea without any shores is the Sargasso Sea.

What are tides? What causes tides in water bodies?

Tides are the fall and rise of the sea levels that are caused by a combination of the effects of gravitational forces that are exerted by the sun and the moon and the Earth’s rotation.

How do you differentiate between a sea and a lake?

Sea has a direct outlet to the ocean, whereas, lakes do not. Lakes may be above or below sea level. Lakes are man-made water bodies, whereas a sea is natural.

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