June 11, 2021
Ferry Facts: World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day Celebrated in June
World Oceans Day occurred this week on Tuesday, June 8. First proposed by Canada in 1992, the day has grown into an international event now celebrated in 140 countries, or 73% of the world. It was formally recognized by the UN in 2008, and has now expanded to include events held during the entire month of June. This year's theme is "One Ocean, One Climate, One Future." The goal is to educate and elevate awareness about all things related to the ocean.
One of this year's local activities was coordinated by Sea Grant Delaware and featured the work of two graduates -- Emmie Healey and Rachel Owrutsky -- both from the College of Earth Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware. A video presentation entitled Life of a Scientist aired on June 3 as part of an ongoing series designed to inspire a new generation of scientists.
The Ferry Celebration
To do our part, we're dedicating this issue of Ferry Facts to Ocean Trivia. Take the quiz below and use it to stump the trivia masters in your life, or use it to just start a conversation with a passenger, coworker, or friend.
Question: How Many Oceans Are There On Planet Earth?
What's your answer?
It's a trick question, so keep reading to find out why.
If You Answered A: One
You are correct!
Purists argue that there is only one world ocean. If you study a map of the world, you'll see all ocean waterways are connected. In fact, the commemoration was originally named World Ocean Day (singular) and WorldOceanDay.org, the organizing group, has the tagline "One Ocean - One Climate - One Future -Together!" and still calls June 8 World Ocean Day.
If You Answered B: Four
You are correct, but may be aging yourself!
Since 1915, when it became responsible for mapping the ocean, National Geographic designated four "named" oceans. They gave sections of the ocean regional names still used today -- Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic.
In December 2008, the UN officially adopted June 8 for ocean awareness, but renamed the festivities World Oceans (plural) Day to conform to the generally accepted concept of four different oceans around the world.
U.S. schools subsequently taught students that there are four oceans, and if you wanted to pass a school test, the correct answer to the question above would have been four. However, if you choose that answer any time after this week, you should read on.
If You Answered C: Five
You are correct and an ace at current events!
Over the past 29 years, most events related to World Oceans Day concentrated on whale and dolphin conservation. This year, the day was marked by the official naming of a new ocean by National Geographic Society map makers. This was the first time in 100 years that Nat Geo recognized more than four oceans with the newly named ocean -- the Southern Ocean -- designating the waters surrounding Antarctica.
"While other oceans are defined by the continents that fence them in, the Southern Ocean is defined by the current that flows around Antarctica," National Geographic stated. It carries more water than any other current on earth and is considered vital to climate stewardship. The Society press release added: "It pulls waters from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, helping drive a global circulation system known as the conveyor belt, which transports heat around the planet."
Scientists and mariners had already referred to the area as the Southern Ocean and National Geographic felt it was time to make it formal, but it is not yet totally official. The designation still has to be recognized by the IHO -- International Hydrographic Organization -- the recognized international, intergovernmental authority on nautical charting.
If You Answered D: Seven
You are correct and either have pirate's blood running in your veins, or you like more finely tuned regional labels!
Isn't this a great quiz? You can't get a wrong answer!
You may think we're confusing the Seven Seas with a question about the ocean, and we are. The Seven Seas dates back to medieval Arabia, but became more commonly defined by the Greeks to designate trade routes. The Greek Seven Seas included the Adriatic, Mediterranean, Black, Caspian, Persian, Red, and Arabian Seas. However, the saying "Sail the Seven Seas" came to mean sailing all known waters of the world, and the Greeks didn't know about the vastness of the ocean.
Per Wikipedia, "The World Ocean is also collectively known as the sea." Wikipedia further notes that today, the Seven Seas refers to regional oceans including the Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian, North Pacific, South Pacific, and Southern Oceans -- seven in total!
Trivia Master Graduate School
If you liked playing our little quiz and want to have more "pub trivia" fun, grab a beverage, sit at your favorite counter, and click the button below to try an extended quiz created in honor of World Oceans Day. You have the answer to at least two of the 50 questions already!