In a real extent of the oceans in the world, The Indian Ocean ranks third. Bordering on most of Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica, the Indian Ocean is the warmest of the oceans and claims 20% of all water on the surface of the planet. It has an area of 73,556,000 sq. km., and an estimated volume of 292,131,000 cubic km of water. It has a width of 10,000 kilometers at the southern tip. On the West it has Africa, on the East the Sunda Islands of the Indonesian Archipelago and Australia, on the North Asia, and on the South the Southern Ocean (Antarctica). Major rivers like the Ganga
, the Indus
, Irrawaddy, Shatt-al-Arab, and Zambessy drain into this ocean. It is called the Indian Ocean since most of it runs along the coastline of the Indian sub-continent.
The main waterways to the Ocean are: the Suez Canal of Egypt, Bab el Madeb (Djibouti-Yemen), Strait of Hormuz (Iran-Oman), and the Strait of Malacca (Indonesia-Malaysia). The Arabian Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, the Flores Sea, the Great Australian Bight, the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Mozambic Channel, the Persian Gulf, the Read Sea, the Sawu Sea, the Strait of Malacca, the Timor Sea, the Jawa Sea etc., are part of the Indian Ocean.
The Jawa Trench of 7258 meters is the deepest area of this ocean.
The main trade routes connecting Europe and the Americas with the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia run through the ocean. A major chunk of all the petroleum and petroleum products from the Persian Gulf countries and Indonesia move through this. Moreover, around 40% of the world’s off-shore oil production is from the Indian Ocean.
The main ports in the ocean are Chennai
, Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkotta (India), Djakarta (Indonesia), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Melbourne (Australia), Durban, Richards Bay (South Africa) etc.