National Geographic Recognizes Unique Southern Ocean as Earth’s Fifth Ocean

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The Southern Ocean is home to unique species like emperor penguins. Johnny Johnson / The Image Bank / Getty Images Yesterday was World Oceans Day, and this year National Geographic made the celebration extra special — by recognizing a whole new ocean . Since National Geographic began making maps in 1915, it has officially acknowledged four oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic. Now, it is adding the Southern Ocean, the body of water that surrounds Antarctica . "The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognized it," National Geographic Society Geographer Alex Tait explained in the announcement . The swift current circling Antarctica keeps the waters there distinct and worthy of their own name: the Southern Oc… — National Geographic (@National Geographic) 1623159509.0 The ocean, which covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, is technically only one body of water, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained . However, it has been historically divided into different regional "oceans" based on a mix of geographical, cultural, historical and scientific criteria. For many years, the Indian, Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were the four main acknowledged […]

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