Pacific Ocean Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

Free fun long printable trivia quiz with answers about the Pacific Ocean

 

What is the Pacific Ocean?
A: The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions.

How large in square miles is the Pacific Ocean?
A: 63,800,000 square miles (165,250,000 square kilometers).

This covers how much of the Earth's water surface?
A: About 46%.

It covers about one-third of the Earth’s total surface area, making it larger than what?
A: All of Earth's land area combined.

The centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are where?
A: In the Pacific Ocean.

The equator subdivides it into what?
A: The North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific.

What is the Pacific Oceans mean depth?
A: It is 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).

The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching what depth?
A: 35,797 feet (10,911 meters).

When was the eastern Pacific first sighted by Europeans?
A: In the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur (in Spanish).

The ocean's current name was coined by whom?
A: Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean.

He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means what?
A: "Peaceful sea".

The east side of the ocean was discovered by whom?
A: Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean.

Why did he name it Mar del Sur (literally, "Sea of the South" or "South Sea"?
A: Because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific.

In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would eventually result in what?
A: The first world circumnavigation.

Why did Magellan call the ocean Pacífico (or "Pacific" meaning, "peaceful")?
A: because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters.

The ocean was often called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until when?
A: Until the eighteenth century.

Magellan died in the Philippines in 1521, but Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain, completing the first what?
A: World circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522.

Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered what?
A: The Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

In 1542–43 the Portuguese also reached what country?
A: Japan.

The Pacific separates Asia and Australia from what?
A: The Americas.

It may be further subdivided by the equator into what?
A: Northern (North Pacific) and southern (South Pacific) portions.

It extends from the Antarctic region in the South to where?
A: The Arctic in the north.

The Pacific Ocean encompasses approximately how much of the Earth's surface?
A: One-third.

The lowest known point on Earth, the Mariana Trench, lies how far below sea level?
A: 35,797 ft; (10,911 m).

What is its average depth?
A: 14,040 ft; (4,280 m).

What is the total water volume?
A: Roughly 710,000,000 km3 (170,000,000 cu mi).

Due to the effects of plate tectonics, the Pacific Ocean is currently doing what?
A: Shrinking by roughly 2.5 cm (1 in) per year on three sides, roughly averaging 0.52 km2 (0.20 sq mi) a year.

What is the Atlantic Ocean doing?
A: It’s increasing in size.

To the north, the Bering Strait connects the Pacific with what?
A: The Arctic Ocean.

As the Pacific straddles the 180th meridian, the West Pacific (or western Pacific, near Asia) is in which hemisphere?
A: The Eastern Hemisphere.

The lands around the Pacific Rim are full of what?
A: Volcanoes and often affected by earthquakes.

Tsunamis, caused by underwater earthquakes, have devastated many islands and in some cases done what?
A: Destroyed entire towns.

The Pacific Ocean has most of the “what”, in the world?
A: Islands.

About how many islands are there in the Pacific Ocean?
A: About 25,000.

The islands entirely within the Pacific Ocean can be divided into what three main groups?
A: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

Melanesia, to the southwest, includes New Guinea, the world's second largest island after Greenland and what?
A: By far the largest of the Pacific islands.

Islands in the Pacific Ocean are of what four basic types?
A: Continental islands, high islands, coral reefs and uplifted coral platforms.

High islands are of volcanic origin, and many contain what?
A: Active volcanoes.

The coral reefs of the South Pacific are low-lying structures that have built up on what?
A: Basaltic lava flows under the ocean's surface.

A second island type formed of coral is the what?
A: The uplifted coral platform, which is usually slightly larger than the low coral islands.

Surface water temperatures in the Pacific can vary from −1.4 °C (29.5 °F), the freezing point of sea water, in the poleward areas to what?
A: About 30 °C (86 °F) near the equator.

Salinity also varies latitudinally, reaching a maximum of how much in the southeastern area?
A: 37 parts per thousand.

Why is the water near the equator less salty than that found in the mid-latitudes?
A: Because of abundant equatorial precipitation throughout the year.

Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peak when?
A: In late summer, when the difference between temperatures aloft and sea surface temperatures is the greatest.

On a worldwide scale, what is the least active month?
A: May, while September is the most active month.

November is the only month in which all the tropical cyclone basins are what?
A: Active.