How Deep is the Atlantic Ocean?

Under the Ocean

Written by Nixza Gonzalez

Updated: May 31, 2023

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The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world and covers nearly 1/5th (20%) of the globe. Considering its size, it is a little scary to imagine just how deep this ocean is! Most of the ocean has not been explored by scientists.

The first written document mentioning the Atlantic Ocean was in the Histories of Herodotus. Atlantikôi pelágei wrote the document in 450 BC. The Atlantic Ocean translates to the island of Atlas.

Are you ready to learn about the depth of the Atlantic Ocean and more fun facts about this massive body of water?

What is the Average Depth of the Atlantic Ocean?

North Atlantic Ocean

The maximum recorded depth for the Atlantic Ocean is 27,841.


There is a big difference between the average depth of a body of water and the deepest point. The average depth of the Atlantic Ocean is 3,646 m (11,962 ft). Wow, how deep! Can you imagine trying to swim to the bottom?

Want to know something even more impressive? The shore length of the Atlantic Ocean is 111,866 km (69,510 mi). Out of the seven continents in the world, the Atlantic touches four of them: Europe, Africa, South America, and North America. The Atlantic Ocean is so large that it is frequently divided into “North” and “South.” The currents of each ocean influence the weather, like storms and hurricanes.

Hurricanes are very common in the Atlantic Ocean and typically form in the deeper sections of the ocean. The warmer waters, mixed with the even warm Sahara summer winds for the best conditions for intense hurricanes. In 1933, 20 storms formed over the Atlantic. That record was shattered in 2005 when 28 storms formed. In 2020 it was beaten once again by a total of 30.

What is the Deepest Point in the Atlantic Ocean?

Deep Sea Vehicle


The deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean is 27,481 feet (8,376 meters). This section of the Atlantic Ocean is in the Milwaukee Deep and is also known as the Puerto Rico Trench. For years, explorers tried to dive to the bottom without luck. In 1964, the bottom of this massive trench was finally explored. More recently, robotic vehicles have been sent to the bottom of the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean to give researchers a better look at what lives on the bottom of this deep sea environment.

The Atlantic Ocean surrounds many continents and ends at a deep trench in Puerto Rico.

© Rodriguez Caraballo

Most humans can swim only 60 feet down safely before having to come back for air. Even with equipment, the deepest anyone has ever gone is 35,853 feet (10,927 meters), a record from the Marianas Trench. Victor Vescovo, an explorer, descended into the Pacific Ocean, reaching the bottom where there were colorful rocks and strange small animals.

What Animals Live in the Deep Waters of the Atlantic Ocean?

Whale shark and diver

Whale sharks

live deep in the western Atlantic Ocean.

©Katja Tsvetkova/

You probably don’t want to imagine the large and strange animals hiding in the deep blue sea, I get it! But it is also interesting. We have only explored and discovered about 5% of the ocean, so our knowledge of deep-sea creatures is limited.

In the Atlantic Ocean, though, you can find animals like schools of small fish and large aquatic mammals. The sperm whale, orca whale, blue whale, and humpback whale are common throughout the body of water. Sperm whales can even make dives of around 8,000 feet, putting them deep into the Atlantic waters. Shark species like a nurse, make, and hammerhead sharks also share the waters.

But, what animals are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean? Recently, various deep-sea expeditions have uncovered unique sea creatures like the frilled shark and the giant spider crab. The frilled shark is considered a living fossil since it appears to be old. It is rare to find one as they live in depths up to 5,000 feet. Other large deep-sea sharks include the Greenland shark, megamouth shark, and goblin shark.

Which Ocean has the Deepest Point?

From the 5% of the ocean we have mapped out, the deepest known point is the Marianas Trench. This trench is massive and crescent-shaped, located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is about 36,000 feet deep, which is deeper than Mount Everest is tall. The average width of the Marianas Trench is 43 miles. Only three people have dared to dive into the deepest depths of the trench.

Interesting Facts About the Atlantic Ocean

Listed below are some fun and interesting facts about the Atlantic Ocean!

  • The approximate volume of the entire Atlantic Ocean is 310,410,900 km3 (74,471,500 cu mi).
  • While the Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean, it is also the youngest since it formed during the Jurassic Period.
  • The Atlantic Ocean hides the Mid-Atlantic Ridge mountains which are over 10,000 miles long.
  • Many large mountain ranges surround the Atlantic Ocean as well, contributing to the high salt levels in the body of water.
  • Industrial pollution and overfishing are killing the large and diverse population in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Nearly all Sea Turtles choose to nest in Atlantic beach coastlines, specifically in Florida. Sadly, these adorable creatures are decreasing in numbers because of climate change. Fewer male sea turtles are being born.
  • There is a lot we do not know about the underwater Mid-Atlantic Ridge mountain chain. We know more about Mars than this mountain chain.
  • The Atlantic is home to a lot of firsts, including the first airplane and ship to cross a major ocean.

Where Is the Atlantic Ocean Located on a Map?

The Atlantic Ocean lies between Europe and Africa on the east side and North and South America on the west side. It extends northward to Iceland and Greenland. To the south, it could be said that it extends to Antarctica, but the waters around Antarctica are called the Southern Ocean.

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About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

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