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The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean of the world covering about 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean.

 The ocean is nearly 10,000 km wide at the southern tips of Africa and Australia, and its area is 73,556,000 km² including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The ocean's volume is estimated to be 292,131,000 km³.

The African, Indian, and Antarctic crustal plates converge in the Indian Ocean at the Rodrigues Triple Point.


The ocean's continental shelves are narrow averaging 200 kilometres in width. The average depth of the ocean is 3,890 m.

 Its deepest point is Diamantina Deep in Diamantina Trench which is 8,047 m deep also sometimes considered is Sunda Trench which is about 7,258–7,725 m deep.



86% of the main basin is covered by pelagic sediments, of which more than half is globigerina ooze. The remaining 14% is layered with terrigenous sediments. Glacial outwash dominates the extreme southern latitudes.

The major choke points include Bab el Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, the Lombok Strait, the Strait of Malacca and the Palk Strait. 

Seas include the Gulf of Aden, Andaman Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Great Australian Bight, Laccadive Sea, Gulf of Mannar, Mozambique Channel, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Red Sea and other tributary water bodies. 



The Indian Ocean is artificially connected to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, accessible via the Red Sea.

Fishing is confined to subsistence levels, because its fish are of great and growing importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. 

Fishing fleets from Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan also exploit the Indian Ocean, mainly for shrimp and tuna.

Endangered marine species include the dugong, seals, turtles, and whales.
Plastic pollution threatens the eastern coast of Mozambique Channel.
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