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Visualizing Our Water World: 20 Infographics About the Oceans

Drew Skau

published on June 11, 2012 in Design

We live in a water world: 70% of our planet’s surface is covered in water and the majority of it is oceans.

Oceans are fantastic places full of unexplored depths with undiscovered life. Giant monsters of the deep are fabled to live below, fair mermaids draw sailors in, and forgotten undersea cities delight the imaginations of children. But what is really down there?

We may only know a fraction of what there is to know about the oceans, but that is mostly because there is just so much to know! The 20 infographics that follow will hopefully help you learn something new.

The depths of the ocean are an especially intriguing topic. Deep water causes intense pressure, keeping out all but the most determined engineers. For the rest of us, here are six infographics that deal with the immense depths.

1. Lakes and Oceans

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2. Diving the Depths

Browse more Other infographics.

3. Ocean Depths

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4. The Ocean’s Deepest Divers

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5. The deepest point in the ocean is The Mariana Trench.

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6. It’s so deep that we have only visited it twice. Most recently by Richard Branson.

Browse more Travel infographics.

7. Our global climate is warming up, and that means lots of ice is melting. All that ice ends up as liquid water in the oceans, raising sea level. When Sea Levels Attack! shows when several major cities will go under.

Browse more infographics.

The currents of the oceans are powerful driving forces that carry heat around the planet. This heat transport is a big part of our climate, so seeing where these currents go is important. Here are three graphics that cover the flow of the oceans.

8. Ocean Currents

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9. Perpetual Ocean

10. Japan’s Quake Ripple Through the Pacific

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11. Water is constantly evaporating from the oceans and being dropped elsewhere as rain. Drainage Basins shows where that water will go after it falls based on where it lands.

Unfortunately, we seem to pollute everywhere we go, and the high seas are no exception. Here are five graphics about the waste we’ve put into the oceans.
12. The World’s Most Disastrous Oil Spills

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13. The Ongoing Disaster of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

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14. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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15. The Most Dangerous Species in the Mediterranean

Browse more Other infographics.

16. Radiation in Ocean

The pollution we cause is a terrible thing. The oceans are a really wonderful place, with the potential to provide us with immeasurable benefit. Here are some of the reasons why we should avoid dumping our waste into the seas.

17. Marine Habitat: The Beautiful World Underneath

by obizmedia. Browse more infographics.

18. Marine Turtles in the Coral Triangle

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19. Whale Song Project

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20. We know a lot about the oceans, but we still have a lot to learn. The Time is Now: Let’s Explore the Ocean!

Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at, and a swimming PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC, with an undergraduate degree in Architecture.