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September 8, 2016

What’s the world’s best ocean?

It’s easy enough to identify the world’s biggest ocean (the Pacific), or the warmest (Indian), or the most conveniently located for the Piccadilly line (the Atlantic, unless you change at Heathrow). But the best? There’s no such thing, right?

By Jonn Elledge

Here are the world’s five oceans, objectively ranked from worst to best according to their Facebook scores.

5th. Indian Ocean – 4.3 stars

A surprisingly poor showing for the body of water that contains such holiday destinations as the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius. (That a rating of 4.3 gets you last place is a reflection, perhaps, or just how many fans the bounding main has around the world.)

(Incidentally, it was actually quite hard to find the page for this one among the sea of Indian restaurants, travel businesses and other such things that Facebook wants to direct me towards instead. There’s also the page for the band the Indian Ocean, which Wikipedia informs me are “widely recognized as the pioneers of the fusion rock genre in India”. Don’t say we never teach you anything.)

4th. Arctic Ocean – 4.4 stars

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world’s five major oceans, but that hasn’t stopped it from picking up fans.

Its page has also attracted this single issue campaigner, who has posted this exact comment rather a lot, actually.

3rd. Pacific Ocean – 4.6 stars

The Pacific is the largest, and arguably the most famous, of the world’s oceans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it attracts a better quality of reviews: 

2nd. Atlantic Ocean – 4.7 stars

Just pipping the Pacific into second place is its old rival, the Atlantic. The latter may be smaller – but, for the users of Facebook, it’s also 0.1 stars better.

And so, finally, we are in a position to answer the question we posed at the outset of this watery odyssey: which is the world’s best ocean? By a process of elimination, it can only be

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1st. Southern Ocean – 4.8 stars

Also known as the Antarctic, the Southern Ocean is generally thought to be the world’s coldest. That has not held it back in the ratings, though, and it’s currently topping the charts, with 4.8 stars.

Exactly where the ocean ends, though, is a matter of some controversy.

Will the Southern Ocean retain its crown? It’s attained its high rating based on just 18 ratings – far fewer than the 121 for the Atlantic, 406 for the Indian and 828 for the Pacific (at the time the article was published).

So tactical voting could yet knock it off the top. Atlantic Ocean fans – you know what to do.

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