Arctic Ocean Facts for Kids – Smallest and Shallowest Ocean in the World

The Arctic Ocean isn’t only the world’s smallest ocean, it actually lies at the top of the world—North Pole. Compared to other four oceans, the Arctic Ocean is probably the shallowest one. A few oceanographers are mainly concerned with its Oceanic status in that they often call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea instead of an Arctic Ocean. According to them the Arctic Ocean is just too small to be called an ocean. Either way it is the only ocean which is located in the extreme North Polar Region. North America and Eurasia circles the Arctic Ocean. There are many other interesting Arctic Ocean facts for kids that you probably don’t know. Let’s read all about Arctic Ocean.

arctic ocean facts for kids
A view of the Arctic Ocean off Tromso, Norway. Arctic Ocean facts for kids

Arctic Ocean Facts for Kids

Where is the Arctic Ocean Located?

  • The Arctic Ocean is located in the North Pole. It is also called Polar Region.


  • The area covered by an Arctic Ocean is estimated at 14,056,000 km2 (5,427,000 sq mi)—nearly the area of Antarctica.
  • The length of the Arctic’s coastline is about 45,390 km (25,200 miles).
  • There are quite a few islands and countries that surround the Ocean such as Greenland, Eurasia, and North America.
  • The Arctic Ocean is thought to include Chukchi Sea, Greenland Sea, Barents Sea, East Siberian Sea, White Sea, Hudson Bay, Baffin Bay, Kara Sea, Beaufort Sea, Hudson Strait, and Laptev Sea.
  • The Bering Sea provides the link between the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Labrador Sea and Greenland Sea actually connects it to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Arctic Ocean covers a total volume of 18.07×106 km3 which is only 1.3 percent of the world’s oceans.
  • The bordering countries that touch the Arctic Ocean are Greenland, United States, Russia, Canada, Iceland, and Norway.

Arctic Ocean Depth & Size

  • The entire ocean is split into two major ridges; Eurasian Ridge and North American Ridge.
  • The Eurasian ridge averages 4,000 and 4,500 m (13,100 and 14,800 ft).
  • The depth of the North American Ridge is estimated at 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
  • On an average the Arctic Ocean is 1,038 m (3,406 ft) deep.
  • The world’s densest water lies in the Arctic. It is known as Arctic Bottom Water. It starts from about 900 meters (3,000 feet).
  • The speed at which the ice drifts is estimated at 1 to 4 cm per second.

Ports around the Arctic

  • Prudhoe Bay & Barrow Bay (Alaska
  • Port of Churchill (Manitoba)
  • Nunavut
  • Nuuk Port & Harbor
  • Murmansk (Barents Sea)
  • Tiksi (Laptev Sea)
  • Arkhangelsk (White Sea)
  • Pevek (East Siberian Sea)

Sea Ice

  • For the most part of the year, the Arctic Ocean is covered with the sea ice.
  • The ice thickens in April and becomes relatively thinner in September.
  • Icebergs are thought to form on the ocean but only occasionally. However, when they do they turn out to be extremely dangerous for the ships. Titanic was hit by one such icebergs.

Arctic Ocean Map

arctic ocean facts for kids
Arctic Ocean on World Map. Arctic Ocean Facts for kids.

Arctic Ocean Climate & Temperature

  • Since Arctic Ocean lies at the extreme Polar Region it has a freezing temperature—perhaps lower than in any other surrounding areas.
  • Although there’s a slight difference of temperature between day and night—the nights are particularly cooler than daytime.
  • Cyclones are not really common in the Arctic Ocean. However, they do arrive in summer but with snow or rain.
  • The Arctic Ocean temperature can measure at 0 °C (32 °F).
  • The overall weather at the Arctic Ocean is cloudy all year round. The cloudy weather comparatively dominates in summer (80%) than in winter (60%).
  • At the surface, it nearly remains the same for the Arctic Ocean comprises saltwater.
  • The Arctic Ocean is remained covered with the ice pack for as long as 10 months in a year. It peaks in March to April in which the ice thickness measures around 20 – 50 cm.

Is the Arctic Ocean the Smallest Ocean?

  • Yes, Arctic Ocean is the smallest of all the five oceans in the world.
  • It is thought to cover only 1.3% of the world’s oceans.

What Lives in the Arctic Ocean?

  • The Arctic Ocean is home to around four species of whales; six species of seals, a polar bear, walrus, and many other animals such as Blue Whale, Orcas, Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, and Fin Whales.

Arctic Ocean Coordinates

  • 90o N 0o E

How Big is the Arctic Ocean?

  • The Arctic Ocean is almost the size of an Antarctica which is located in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • It covers as much as 14.06 million square kilometers.

Deepest Point in Arctic Ocean?

  • The Litke Deep is the deepest part of the Ocean measuring up to 5,450 m (17,880 ft) in depth.

What three Continents Does the Arctic Ocean Touch?

  • The Arctic Ocean touches three continents—North America, Asia, and Europe.

What Animals & Plants Live in the Arctic Ocean?

  • Animals such as whales, walruses, Lion’s mane jellyfish, and banded gunnel live in the Arctic. They are some of the critically endangered species in the world.
  • The Arctic Ocean is abundant in phytoplankton.
arctic ocean facts for kids
Most part of the Arctic Ocean remains frozen for 10 months a year. Arctic Ocean facts for kids. Photo by:

Natural Resources

  • Petroleum
  • Polymetallic Nodules
  • Placer Deposits
  • Natural Gas Fields.

Arctic Ocean Fish

  • American Eel
  • Atlantic Mackerel
  • Capelin
  • Arctic Charr
  • Atlantic Cod
  • Common Seasnail
  • Greenland Cod
  • Greenland Shark
  • Pacific Herring
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Pink Salmon

Arctic Ocean Islands

  • Greenland Island
  • Hyde Parker Island
  • Crescent Island
  • Amsterdam Island
  • Monumental Island
  • Shoe Island
  • Hudson Island

Arctic Ocean Facts for Kids – Video