The American cartographic society National Geographic will change the world maps by adding the fifth ocean. The sea around Antarctica is called the Southern Ocean, the only ocean that is not defined by continents.

World Oceans

Until now, the waters around Antarctica have only been identified on the maps as the foothills of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. But now, National Geographic’s decision sanctified the views of many experts that the Southern Ocean deserves geographical independence. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has been using the Southern Ocean name since 2000.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

“Scientists have been talking about the Southern Ocean for a long time. But because there was no international consensus, we did not officially recognize the name. There was a touch of geographical science in that, “said Alex Tait, National Geographic’s representative.

Scientists have argued over the naming of waters in the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere but the official use of the new term in maps is an important milestone.

Southern Ocean Borders

The northern boundary of the Southern Ocean is between 50- and 62-degrees south latitude on maps but will no longer include the Drake Strait between Cape Horn in South America and South Shetland or the nearby Scotia Sea off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Unlike the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic Oceans, the Southern Ocean is not bounded by land, but by the submarine Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC). Thanks to the current, the waters around Antarctica have other properties that are important for thousands of specific species.

National Geographic recognized the Southern Ocean as the world’s fifth ocean on June 8, World Oceans Day.

Source:, featured image by David Mark from Pixabay