A very famous phrase in English is "the seven seas". Many songs and poems refer to "sailing the seven seas" to express the idea of roaming the whole world by sea. But what are the seven seas?
Today, the seven seas are generally considered to be the:
- Arctic Ocean
- Antarctic Ocean
- Indian Ocean
- North Pacific Ocean
- South Pacific Ocean
- North Atlantic Ocean
- South Atlantic Ocean
So why are the seven seas in fact "oceans"? Well, ocean simply means a very large sea. There are many seas in the world. First of all, all the salt water that covers most of the earth's surface and surrounds its land masses is called "sea", or "the sea". But "the sea" actually consists of many seas of different sizes, for example the Black Sea, or the Caribbean Sea. The largest of the seas are called "oceans", and there are seven of them, as listed above.
Actually, you can find other lists that define the seven seas differently. It doesn't really matter: the term is figurative, and is usually used to suggest "all the seas of the world", or everywhere that is covered by salt water.
literal (adjective): words used in their real or most basic sense
salt water (noun): water with salt (seas, oceans)
fresh water (noun): water with no salt (rivers, lakes)
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Contributor: Josef Essberger