What is the Difference Between a Sea And an Ocean?

Seas water formations smaller than oceans and they are at least partly enclosed by land. Oceans cover most of the Earth’s surface while seas are smaller by comparison as they can even be entirely surrounded by land with limited or no ocean connectivity.

The similarities between seas and oceans

Both seas and oceans are large bodies of salty water. Their water sources are mostly rivers and lakes. But seas aren’t as large as oceans which make up most of the world’s surface. Oceans are large bodies of water often between continents. Examples of seas entirely disconnected from oceans include the Black Sea. Seas that communicate with oceans include the South China Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The differences between seas and oceans

Seas are considerably smaller than oceans. Even the smallest ocean, the Arctic Ocean, is 1.5 times larger than the US. Seas aren’t as deep as oceans either. There are plenty of photos of sea beds and barely any photos of ocean beds which are considerably harder to reach.

Given the depth of oceans, they are mainly light-free. In oceans, light supports different plants and animals. Ocean beds are completely dark and only accustomed fish can live here.

The largest sea in the Mediterranean Sea. It sits between Europe and Africa and it has been the first explored sea due to its reduced sizes which allowed trading of goods between countries. The largest ocean is the Pacific which was fully sailed much later as it can take weeks for a shop to travel across its vast body of water.

Seas and oceans are similar in salinity but different in temperatures as well. Seas are easier to heat due to their smaller size. As a result, seas are easier to heat and they can be better for quick swims and better suited for holiday destinations.