The Southern Ocean is the youngest of oceans. When South America and Antarctica moved apart, this ocean was born. This split led to the opening of the Drake Passage. Officially its boundary is 60º south latitude. It is the only water body which has a water-only northern boundary. The Southern Ocean was once called the Antarctic Ocean. Due to the characteristics of the water, this ocean is distinct from its counterparts. Because of the Antarctic circumpolar current, water gets transported very fast throughout the ocean. The volume of water increases seven times during the summer because the icebergs melt. Icebergs are also the primary concern while traveling through the Southern Ocean.
The northern boundary has many icebergs, which, if coupled with heavy winds and massive waves, can be scary. This area of Southern Ocean is known as the Roaring Forties (referring to 40 degrees Celsius). Did you know that an average size iceberg can cater to the hydration needs of a human being for years? They are typically that huge!
The Southern Ocean is also full of mineral deposits. However, due to the remote location, it becomes difficult to extract them. This ocean is a treasure trove of Magnesium, placer deposits, and Gold. It is possible that oil and natural gas could be found here as well.
Traversing the Ocean
The climate during winters can be harsh. Most ports freeze during this season due to ice. The circle winds are perilous. Luckily, they only occur in areas with open water and unbounded landscapes. It can be very dangerous to cross these waters. But you can sail the Ocean if you are not faint of heart, although only a true adventurer can challenge these waters.
When you cruise in the Southern Ocean, you will likely use ports like Villa las Estrellas, McMurdo Station, and Rothera Station. While on a voyage through the ocean you can enjoy sights of Emperor Penguins, Blue Whales, and cute furry Seals. You will be lucky if you see the Albatross flying above your deck, this is considered a good omen for sailing ships. If you don’t know about it, read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Aye, set the sails!
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August 26, 2016 12:00 am Leave your thoughts
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