New ocean officially recognized

(MSN) – On World Oceans Day, National Geographic announced that its cartographers have officially recognized the waters surrounding Antartica as the Southern Ocean.

The National Geographic Society began making maps in 1915, but until yesterday it had only officially recognized four oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Now, Society geographers have decided that the vast body of water surrounding the world's southernmost continent has enough unique characteristics to deserve its own name rather than simply being considered extensions of the southern Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

"The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists, but because there was never agreement internationally, we never officially recognized it," National Geographic Society Geographer Alex Tait said in a statement. "It's sort of geographic nerdiness in some ways."

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