Difference Between Sea and Ocean – Sea vs Ocean

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Difference between Sea and Ocean: The significant difference between sea and ocean is that the sea represents a comparatively lesser body of open water than oceans that cover almost 70% of the earth’s surface. Earth has about 1.36 billion tons of water, with >90% volume in oceans and seas. Sea is often partially enclosed by terrestrial area and is located at the confluence of land and ocean. The Sargasso Sea on United States’ eastern coast is an exception to this rule. A complete knowledge of the difference between sea and ocean will aid you in understanding the in-depth concept and other pertinent related to these water bodies.

Difference Between Sea and Ocean PDF

Both sea and ocean have similar features characterized by water currents, high and low tides, and waves. The water temperature, wind direction, geography, and current-induced pressure determine the direction of waves. The striking difference between ocean and sea is that the ocean is larger than the sea in terms of the water volume and the total area covered. The ocean’s depth at any point is always greater than the sea’s. This article will illustrate the basic difference between sea and ocean and characterize the existence of these large water bodies.

Difference Between Sea and Ocean

The primary difference between ocean and sea is that the ocean has more depth than the sea and covers more area. The candidates preparing for the competitive exams must have complete knowledge of the water bodies and comparisons to solve the questions easily.

The details provided here will aid you in answering the questions with ease. The attributes related to the difference between sea and ocean have been compared below.

Sea vs Ocean

Difference Between Ocean And Sea



The ocean is a large water body of continuous nature without any border, usually.

The sea contains comparatively lesser water volume than the ocean and is usually landlocked.

Ocean’s depth is much more than the sea’s.

Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest point on earth, with a depth of almost 11 Km.

The depth of the sea is lesser.

The depth of the Caribbean Sea is maximum, with the deepest point being almost 7 Km below mean sea level.

Ocean’s expanse is far more than the sea.

The Pacific Ocean’s net area is 60 million square miles.

The area covered by the sea is comparatively lesser.

The largest sea has an area of 1.14 million square miles.

Marine life in the ocean is less due to the restricted penetration of sunlight.

Whales, phytoplankton, and other animals or flora that can sustain in lesser sunlight or oxygen are found in the ocean.

Shallow seawater allows for abundant sunlight penetration that causes the flourishing of marine life.

Animals like crabs or lobsters, which are amphibians, can also survive in seawater.

An ocean cannot exist inside another ocean.

Some seas exist within another sea.

For instance, the Balearic Sea, Ligurian sea, Libyan Sea, Sicily Sea, and the Ionian Sea lie within the Mediterranean Sea.

Sea and Ocean

The ocean differs from the sea in many respects. Oceans store 50x more carbon compared to the atmosphere. They positively influence the earth’s climate by regularly transferring heat from the equatorial region to the polar areas.

Sea and ocean surfaces appear blue or aquamarine as the water absorbs the red colour of sunlight’s spectrum and reflects the blue colour.

What is Sea?

The seas are the ocean segment that is completely covered by land. Some seas are completely landlocked such as the Dead Sea or the Caspian Sea. Seawater is saline except for freshwater water in the Sea of Galilee.

  • The sea’s coastline is the total length of land that adjoins the seawater.
  • It expands to larger areas and contains saltwater.

What is Ocean?

The oceans constitute a major part of the hydrosphere. There are different types of oceans, such as the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern [Antarctic], and Arctic. The ocean constitutes an integral constituent of the hydrosphere.

  • The oceans play an instrumental role in determining the Climate.
  • It is a habitat for a multitude of marine animals.


Key Difference Between Sea and Ocean

The key difference between sea and Ocean is that Marine life flourishes in the sea better than in the ocean. This is because the sunlight cannot penetrate the ocean’s greater depth, preventing photosynthesis and lessening marine life’s oxygen supply.

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