Earth gets a fifth ocean

Many of us were taught in school that there are four oceans – the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. However, an Internet search shows there is also a "Southern Ocean". This is around the South Pole and Antarctica. The National Geographic Society now officially accepts this is a real ocean. Geography teachers will now have to teach students that the world has five oceans. A National Geographic geographer said: "We think it's really important from an educational [viewpoint], as well as from a map-labelling standpoint, to bring attention to the Southern Ocean as a fifth ocean."

National Geographic said studying about the Southern Ocean would change how children see the world and climate change. It said: "Students learn information about the…world through what oceans they're studying. If you don't include the Southern Ocean, then they don't learn…how important it is." It added: "Antarctica forms a distinct ecological region defined by ocean currents and temperatures." National Geographic said the Southern Ocean has "unique and fragile marine ecosystems" full of wonderful marine life like whales, penguins and seals.