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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Pacific Ocean

HISTORY

The first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão to the Maluku Islands in 1512.

The first European to set eyes on the east side of the Pacific was Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa on September 25, 1513. A companion of Cortez, he set eyes on the ocean at Darien on the Isthmus of Panama and exclaimed "Hombre".

It was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who first named it the Pacific in 1521, having encountered its waters for the first time on a particularly calm and peaceful day.

Map of the Pacific Ocean during European Exploration, circa 1702–1707.

The first cable across the Pacific Ocean was spliced between Honolulu, Midway, Guam and Manila  in 1903.

Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith  and his crew landed their Southern Cross aircraft in Brisbane at 10.50 a.m. on June 9, 1928, completing the first ever trans-Pacific flight from the United States mainland to Australia. The total flight distance was approximately 11,566 kilometres (7,187 mi). Kingsford Smith was met by a huge crowd of 26,000 at Eagle Farm Airport, and welcomed as a hero.

A photograph commemorating the first trans-Pacific flight.

The first people to row across the Pacific Ocean were Britons John Fairfax and Sylvia Cook. They reached Australia on April 22, 1972, 362 days after setting off from San Francisco, surviving shark bites and cyclones. The pair were fortified en route with Spam and malted milk.

In 1995, Steve Fossett landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

GEOGRAPHY

Covering 63.8 million square miles, the Pacific is larger than the entire land surface of the Earth.

The volume of the Earth's moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean.

The point on earth farthest from land is in the South Pacific halfway between Pitcairn Island and Antarctica. Point Nemo is 2,688 km (1,670 mi) from the nearest land.

Point Nemo

Point Nemo is also known as a "spacecraft cemetery" because hundreds of decommissioned satellites, space stations, and other spacecraft have been deposited there upon re-entering the atmosphere.

When ships pass through Point Nemo, the closest other humans are in the International Space Station 400km up.

There are points in the Pacific Ocean where, if you dug a hole to the opposite point on Earth, you would still be in the Pacific Ocean.

The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench of the Pacific is 6.831 miles deep, the deepest place on earth.


The pressure in the Marina Trench is more than eight tons per square inch — or 50 jumbo jets piled on top of you.

If a coin was dropped into the Marina Trench, it would take more than an hour to reach the bottom.

The bathyscaphe USS Trieste broke a depth record by descending to 10,911 metres (35,797 ft) in the Mariana Trench on January 23, 1960.

Trieste just before the record dive. The destroyer escort USS Lewis is in the background.

The only island kingdom in the Pacific is Tonga, comprising 176 islands under King Tupou VI.

Because of plate tectonics, the Pacific is shrinking about 0.5 sq km a year.

Source Daily Express

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