There are FIVE Oceans Now? What the Heck???

I hate that uninformed, left out feeling that comes with learning something that everyone in the universe already knows…except me. Like the time in seventh grade when I worked up the courage to say hi to “cute Chad” only to find out he’d been going steady with “fried hair Tara” for two whole weeks.

“How could you not know? It’s like written in permanent marker in every bathroom stall,” my friend Jennifer pointed out impatiently.

27 Years Later (to be read in a French accent, like the narrator on Spongebob)

It happened again today while my friend Denise and I chatted about our kids’ new school year over coffee and leather pastries at Panera.

“Oh, ya know….They’re going over the names of continents and the five oceans, so far just reviewing from last year” Denise said as I tried unsuccessfully to cut into my cheese danish.

“Ya mean four oceans,” I corrected, trying to seem nonchalant as the table vibrated back and fourth with my determined knife strokes.

“There’s the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. That makes five now. Vanessa learned about it last year. It was new to me too,” my friend countered.

I’d always considered Denise to be an honest person with no underhanded motives to misrepresent the Earth’s bodies of water. Could it possibly be true that the addition of something as large as an ocean had slipped right past me?

I was completely taken aback. Like that feeling you get upon learning that Diet Pepsi really makes you fatter than regular Pepsi. Or that Hello Kitty isn’t actually a cat.

As my fingers began ripping apart the rebellious pastry, I regretted not having the foresight to pack a globe in my purse…specifically for emergencies like these.

If It had been any other subject…algebra, astronomy, politics, I wouldn’t have cared. But geography, that’s my area of expertise. I haven’t missed a geography question on Jeopardy…like….EVER.

Maybe it was done in secret and covertly slipped right past the general public. Perhaps the Global Board of Waterways called a last minute work session. And they clandestinely voted to annex the Southern Ocean in spite of local outcry that four oceans were plenty and all that had been budgeted for. I’ve heard that sort of thing happens from time to time.

Or what if it was a secession like Scotland is attempting right now? The southern parts of each ocean felt that their aquatic citizens didn’t receive equal representation among sea life. So they pulled away and merged together in search of liberty and equal rights. Funny, you’d think that an oceanic civil war would’ve made headlines. When poor Pluto lost its planethood, CNN dedicated weeks worth of coverage.

Maybe it’s a money making scheme among textbook, map and globe manufacturers, requiring us to buy all new ones now that ours are obsolete. Resorting to the creation of a new ocean just to make a buck reeks of desperation…and creativity.

Five hours later…

ME: “you knew about this?”

ANDREW: “uh yeah.”

ME: “what else are you not telling me? Don’t answer that.”

A consultation with my friend Google confirmed that the Southern Ocean, aka the Great Southern Ocean, aka the Antarctic Ocean, has existed for nearly 15 years now. And everyone else in the universe is fine with it…except me…and maybe Pluto. (How can you trust an ocean that has at least two aliases?)

Where the heck have I been? Did YOU know about this Southern Ocean? Be honest.

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16 Responses to There are FIVE Oceans Now? What the Heck???

  1. Umm… I didn’t know it, either. Don’t feel bad. (But then again, geography is most definitely NOT my best subject. Never has been, never will be.) At least I know now. Thank you! 😀


  2. I too, am just learning that there is a fifth ocean. I showed my children this article, and they were as surprised as you were to hear about this 15 year discovery!


  3. angelaweight says:

    Thanks, Lisa! Glad I’m not the only one.


  4. I wonder how many things i don’t know because I didn’t have kids!


  5. angelaweight says:

    Yay! I guessed they slipped it past a lot of us.


  6. Cathy says:

    I had no clue. I wouldn’t have added anything to that conversation! Oh my. We learned a song in grade school called “And Still the World Goes Rolling On” which I think somewhat applies here. Agh!


  7. Gern Blanston says:

    I’m boycotting this new “ocean”. I think the penguins are behind it.


  8. Roz Warren says:

    You learn something new every day. 🙂


  9. I had no clue and I thought I was pretty good at geography too. Are all of the maps wrong now? I suppose I need to buy a new globe, it is one of the most used items in my office by my grandkids. I wonder if they know?
    Thank you for sharing the information.


  10. says:

    Really? You’re in good company – clueless and surprised here.


  11. Ha ha! Who knew? I just Googled it to find out more! Hope I get this question on Trivial Pursuit one day!


  12. loisaltermark says:

    Ha ha! Who knew? I just Googled this to find out more. I hope I get this question in Trivial Pursuit one day!


  13. Sunny Franks says:

    I had no idea….but then again…I don’t know much of anything these day!


  14. Ronnie says:

    I knew but only because I went to Boat College.


  15. someoneelsesgenius says:

    Yeah… I didn’t know either… so my kids are holding out on me, too. WTF.


  16. Tamara says:

    For what it’s worth I didn’t know about the Antarctic Ocean either. It may have been something to do with global warming? Ice bergs melting, creating a whole new ocean?

    I attended school in Europe before Russia thought it was funny to let new states pop up like mushrooms. Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, you name it, I only know about them because they produced hockey teams!

    PS: still upset about Pluto. Outrageous to demote Pluto!!


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