Around 70 per cent of the world’s surface is covered in water, and there are five oceans and 113 seas all varying in size and depth.
The ones listed below are the ten biggest bodies of water, counting down to the largest ocean in the world.
The oceans range in size from one that covers five million square miles to the largest, at an astonishing sixty-four million square miles.
Meanwhile, the smallest sea on the list covers 970,000 square miles while the biggest, the Philippine Sea, has an area of 1.8 million square miles.
All of them have their own incredible stories and unique histories. Find out about them below…
10 Caribbean Sea
970,000 square miles
Apart from the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean is the most exotic sea in the world — full of beautiful tropical islands and white sandy beaches.
Many larger countries also lie on its shores, including Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia and Venezuela.
The most famous was Blackbeard, whose real name was Edward Teach — a notorious swashbuckler who sought victims in several seas including the Caribbean.
He terrorized shipping until he lost his life in a battle with pirate hunters in November 1718. Bartholomew Roberts, known as Black Bart, also worked the Caribbean Sea and is said to have plundered as many as 400 ships.
9 South China Sea
1.1 million square miles
The South China Sea lies at to the far west of the Pacific Ocean, covering an area from Singapore and the Malacca Straits to Taiwan.
It has been a major marine trade route for centuries and one-third of the world’s trade still goes down this sea — although the vessels have changed a lot over the years.
Because it was such a busy sea route in the days of sailing ships, the South China Sea was also a favorite haunt of pirates who would lay in wait to capture traders and their wares as they sailed through the Straits of Malacca.
Modern-day pirates still operate in this area but not on the scale of the Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, below.
8 Arabian Sea
1.5 million square miles
The Arabian Sea lies at the north end of the Indian Ocean, with Pakistan to the north, Somalia and Iran to the South and the Arabian Peninsula to the West.
It was once an important trade route from the time coastal sailing vessels were introduced, thanks to the Monsoon winds which would fill the sales of boats as they travelled to and from India and Pakistan to the coast of East Africa.
It is now one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world. Somali pirates regularly hijack vessels and use them as a roaming pirate base going up and down the Arabian Sea looking for victims.
They have become increasingly violent and recreational sailors are urged to keep away from this area.
In 2009 British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped from their yacht by Somali pirates and held hostage separately for over a year before being released after a reported $1,000,000 ransom was paid
7 Coral Sea
1.8million square miles
The Coral Sea lies off the coast of Australia and includes one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions — the Great Barrier Reef.
This sea also played a big part in World War II when the major Battle of the Coral Sea took place between May 4 and May 8, 1942.
It involved the Imperial Japanese Navy and both the US and Australian naval and air forces.
It was the first time aircraft carriers had fought each other at sea and the US carrier Lexington blew up following a Japanese carrier air attack.
The Japanese were trying to capture Port Moresby on the South East coast of New Guinea but failed due to several of the Japanese carriers being bombed.
Today it is more peaceful, spattered with tiny islands popular for their scuba diving and snorkeling.
6 Philippine Sea
2 million square miles
The Philippine sea sits to the east and north of the Philippines at the north-west end of the Pacific Ocean. It is most famous for the Battle of the Philippine Sea on June 19 and 20, 1944, during World War II.
This was between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy and resulted in a decisive victory for the Americans.
It wiped out all chances of the Japanese being able to fight from the sea when their air craft carrier Zuikaku and two destroyers were completely obliterated by a US Navy aircraft. This was one of the most important victories in WWII.
Typhoons are quite common in this area, and they are particularly strong in September. They often originate in the area, before sweeping west over land.
5 Arctic Ocean
5 million square miles
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world’s oceans, and is also one of the bleakest.
Lying mostly in the Arctic north polar region it is covered by frozen pack ice for most of the year and there is no daylight at all between October and March.
The Arctic Ocean featured in news bulletins around the world at the end of 2013 when a Russian ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, carrying scientists, tourists and journalists got stuck in the frozen ice on Christmas Eve.
The Chinese ice breaker the Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, tried to rescue the ship but could not reach it as it also got stuck in the ice.
In the end the team aboard the Akeademik Shokalskiy were taken off in early January 2014 in a daring rescue operation by a helicopter off the Xue Long.
4 Southern Ocean
20 million square miles
The Southern Ocean made history in the year 2000 when it became the world’s fifth ocean.
It was created by the Hydrographic Organization from the southern part of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and it completely surrounds Antarctica which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Antarctic Ocean.
There was a certain amount of controversy when it was created as there are people who consider the world to only have four oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic — but it is now officially accepted as an ocean and features on all modern maps.
3 Indian Ocean
28 million square miles
In the 16th and 17th centuries the Indian Ocean was an important trade route for merchants and people involved in the spice trade between Asia, north east Africa and Europe.
Boats carried their spices from the north to various destinations further south like Kenya and Zanzibar, sometimes taking weeks to get there.
The Indian is the warmest ocean in the world. It is bordered by Antarctica in the South, while South Asia, including India lies on the north, and Africa on the west. IndoChina and Australia lie to the East.
The oceanic flow changes course twice a year, in winter and summer, and it gets 20cm wider every year due to continental drift.
2 Atlantic Ocean
33 million square miles
Known in the past for its great ocean liners crossing from Southampton to America, the Atlantic is the scene of one of the greatest disasters in maritime history when RMS Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg.
It was also where the longest military campaign in World War II took place, the Battle of the Atlantic.
German U boats, warships and submarines were up against the allied navies from Great Britain, Canada, USA and Italy and the battle was long and hard.
The Atlantic covers 20 per cent of the earth’s water surface and lies between Africa, Europe, the Southern Ocean and the Americas.
1 Pacific Ocean
64 million square miles
As well as its beautiful tropical islands, the Pacific Ocean is famous for two main things to most people — the first being the movie South Pacific, based on James A. Michener’s book Tales of the South Pacific.
The other is the most famous battle off World War II, the bombing of Pearl Harbor just off the island of Hawaii on December 7 1941, which brought America into the war.
Known as the Peaceful Sea, it was far from that during WWII — when it was known as the Theater of War due to the number of naval battles fought there.
Situated between the Americas to the east and Australia to the west it covers 30 per cent of the earth’s water surface.
There are 25,000 islands in the Pacific and it is surrounded by a ring of fire, a large number of active volcanoes.