The third-largest body of water in the world, the Indian Ocean makes up 20% of the planet’s water surface. Its name comes from the fact that it is bordered by Southern Asia, which includes the Indian subcontinent, on the north; the Arabian Peninsula and Africa on the west; the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda Islands, and Australia on the east; and the Southern Ocean on the south.
The 147° east meridian and the 20° east meridian, which extend south from Cape Agulhas, divide it from the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, respectively. The Persian Gulf is located at a latitude of around 30° north, which is the northernmost point of the Indian Ocean. This ocean spans 73,556,000 square kilometres (28,400,000 mi2), includes the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and is almost 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) wide at the southernmost points of Africa and Australia.
According to estimates, the ocean has a volume of 292,131,000 cubic kilometres (70,086,000 mi3). Small islands dot the edges of the continents. The fourth-largest island in the world, Madagascar (formerly the Malagasy Republic), is an island nation, along with Comoros, Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka. Indonesia is its boundary.
Due to its significance as a passageway between Asia and Africa, the ocean has become a site of strife. However, due to its immensity, no country had managed to successfully conquer the majority of it until the early 1800s, when Britain ruled over most of the nearby territory. India and Australia have ruled the ocean since World War II.
Read about: Coral Reef
Indian Ocean Islands
Many of the smallest nations and one of the largest island nations can be found among the diverse collection of islands in the Indian Ocean (Madagascar). Some are hundreds of miles from any other land, while others cling to continents’ shores.
The only thing the two events had in common was that they were both impacted by tsunamis, one at Krakatoa in the 1880s and the other on Boxing Day 2004. This website classifies the subantarctic islands south of 45° latitude as islands of the Southern Ocean rather than islands of the Indian Ocean.
Read about: Mountains of India
Eastern Indian Ocean Islands
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Australia)
- Christmas Island (Australia)
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)
- Langkawi Islands (Malaysia)
- Mentawai Islands (Indonesia)
- Mergui Archipelago (Myanmar)
- Nias Island (Indonesia)
- Penang (Malaysia)
- Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)
- Phuket (Thailand)
- Simeulue Island (Indonesia)
- Weh Island (Indonesia)
Western Indian Ocean Islands
- Agalega (Mauritius)
- Bazaruto Archipelago (Mozambique)
- Juan de Nova Island (France)
- Lamu Archipelago (Kenya)
- Mafia Island (Tanzania)
- Unguja Island (Tanzania)
- Pemba (Tanzania)
- Quirimbas Archipelago (Mozambique)
- Rodrigues (Mauritius)
- Tanjona Vohimena (Madagascar)
- Vamizi Island (Mozambique)
Southern Indian Ocean Islands
- Amsterdam Island (France)
- Crozet Islands (France)
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands (Australia)
- Kerguelen (France)
- Prince Edward Islands (South Africa)
Northern Indian Ocean Islands
- Baba and Bhit Islands (Karachi)
- Buddo Island (Karachi)
- Bundal Island (Karachi)
- Clifton Oyster Rocks (Karachi)
- Khiprianwala Island (Karachi)
- Manora Island (Karachi)
- Shams Pir Island (Karachi)
- Astola Island (Balochistan)
- Churna Island (Balochistan)
- Malan Island (Balochistan)
- Zalzala Koh (Gwadar)
Uninhabited or Restricted Islands
- Dirk Hartog Island (Australia) – Uninhabited
- Houtman Abrolhos (Australia) – Uninhabited
- Cargados Carajos (Mauritius) – Uninhabited or Private
- Saint-Paul Island (France)
Read about: Wetlands in India
Indian Ocean Deepest Point
The deepest point in the Indian Ocean is located in the Java Trench at a depth of 7187 meters, and the deepest point in the Southern Ocean is located in the South Sandwich Trench at a depth of 7432 meters.
Read about: Biodiversity in India
Indian Ocean Largest Island
The largest island is Madagascar, which has a surface size of around 226,658 square miles. After Borneo, New Guinea, and Greenland, it is the fourth largest continent in the globe. 250 miles off the eastern coast of southern Africa is the island of Madagascar. It is a sovereign nation with a population of about 26 million. Both the African Union and the United Nations have Madagascar as a member. Up until its independence on June 26, 1960, France had colonized it. Despite being a well-liked tourist destination, Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries.
Read about: Himalayan Ranges
Why Indian Ocean is named after India?
India’s vital position at the ocean’s head since ancient times and its extensive coastline, which is longer than any other country in the Indian Ocean rim, are the reasons the Indian Ocean bears its name.
Read about: Monsoon in India
Indian Ocean Map
For a better understanding of the Indian Ocean Region, refer to the following map:
Read about: Indus River System
Indian Ocean FAQs
Q) Why is called the Indian Ocean?
Ans. The Indian Ocean is named after India because of its strategic location at the head of the ocean from ancient times and its long coastline which is longer than any other country in the Indian Ocean rim.
Q) What are the 5 Indian oceans?
Ans. The five oceans from smallest to largest are the Arctic, Southern, Indian, Atlantic and Pacific.
Q) What is the original name of the Indian Ocean?
Ans. It was earlier known as the Eastern Ocean, a term that was still in use during the mid-18th century (see map), as opposed to the Western Ocean (Atlantic) before the Pacific was surmised. Conversely, Chinese explorers in the Indian Ocean during the 15th century called it the Western Ocean.
Q) Which ocean is the warmest?
Ans. The waters of the Pacific Ocean comprise the world’s largest heat reservoir, by far, and it is the warmest ocean, overall, of the world’s five oceans.
Q) What is the biggest ocean in the world?
Ans. The Pacific Ocean is the biggest ocean in the world.
Major Incidents in Indian History
- Quit India Movement
- Chauri Chaura Incident
- Jallianwala Bagh Massacre
- Green Revolution in India
- Non-Cooperation Movement