Apparently, There's a 5th Ocean According to National Geographic

Forget what you learned in school.


The world is more fluid than you think. Even scientific facts you learned in school are subject to change. Like, remember when you thought that Pluto was a planet? Or that Columbus discovered America?

Well, you might be able to add another outdated fact to the list: Turns out, there are more than four oceans.

You know the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Ocean, but now, according to National Geographic, one of the world’s foremost mapmakers, there are officially five oceans.

This “new” ocean is called the Southern Ocean and can be found around Antarctica.

National Geographic, which has been making maps since 1915, made this announcement on June 8, World Oceans Day.

“The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognized it,” National Geographic geographer Alex Tait said at the announcement.

Basically, scientists found that the waters around Antarctica had enough “unique characteristics” making it “ecologically distinct” to differentiate it from the other oceans, and thus deserving of its own name, National Geographic reports.

According to the outlet, “While the other oceans are defined by the continents that fence them in, the Southern Ocean is defined by a current.” The Southern Ocean’s current, called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, reportedly transports more water than any other ocean current, pulling from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

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Sophie-Claire Hoeller is the Editorial Director of News at Thrillist. Follow her on Instagram @sohostyle.