An ocean is a body of saline water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere. On Earth, an ocean is one of the major conventional divisions of the World Ocean. While there is only one global ocean, the vast body of water that covers 71 percent of the Earth is geographically divided into distinct named regions. The boundaries between these regions have evolved over time for a variety of historical, cultural, geographical, and scientific reasons.
Historically, there are four named oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. However, most countries - including the United States - now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean. The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian are known as the three major oceans.
As the world ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, it is integral to life, forms part of the carbon cycle, and influences climate and weather patterns. The world ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger, possibly over two million.The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean near the Northern Mariana Islands. Its maximum depth has been estimated to be 10,971 meters.