A composite satellite image centred on the Indian Ocean
The ocean-floor of the Indian Ocean is divided by spreading ridges and crisscrossed by aseismic structures
|Max. length||9,600 km (6,000 mi) (Antarctica to Bay of Bengal)|
|Max. width||7,600 km (4,700 mi) (Africa to Australia)|
|Surface area||68,556,000 km2 (26,470,000 sq mi)|
|Average depth||3,741 m (12,274 ft)|
|Max. depth||7,258 m (23,812 ft)|
|Shore length1||66,526 km (41,337 mi)|
|1 Shore length is |
The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's
Scientifically, the Indian Ocean remained poorly explored before the
The Indian Ocean is named after India (Oceanus Orientalis Indicus) since at least 1515. India, then, is the Greek/Roman name for the "region of the Indus River".
Called the Sindhu Mahasagara or the great sea of the Sindhu by the Ancient Indians, this ocean has been variously called Hindu Ocean, Indic Ocean, etc. in various languages. The Indian Ocean was also known earlier as the Eastern Ocean, a term was still in use during the mid-18th century (see map).
A relatively new concept of an "Indian Ocean World" and attempts to rewrite its history has resulted in new proposed names, such as 'Asian Sea' and 'Afrasian Sea'.