About the Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean surrounds the continent of Antarctica. Th e Southern Ocean wasn’t an “official” ocean until 2000. Until then, it was usually called the Antarctic Ocean, and was considered a polar region of the other three major oceans. But scientists realized that the winds that blow around the continent of Antarctica are so strong that the surface currents of the Southern Ocean qualify it as its own ocean. Th e Southern Ocean’s official boundaries are all the waters that lie south of 60 degrees south latitude.

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