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The Mid-Atlantic Ridge

The Atlantic Ocean covers one-quarter of the Earth’s surface with an area of 106,400,000 square kilometres.

The Lost City geothermal field is home to huge billowing chimneys spewing out hot fluids at temperatures of up to 90°C.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is constantly creating new crust on the sea floor, which means that the width of Atlantic Ocean increases by 2.5 centimetres every year.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge played an important part in the break up of the super-continent of Pangea 180 million years ago.

The first recorded crossing of the Atlantic was by Icelandic sailors in 1000AD.

Bacteria found around hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge provide food for a huge range of deep marine life, which survives without light.

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Flying at 13,000m - The Atlantic Ocean

 

Flying at 1,000m - The Mid-Atlantic Ridge

 

Flying at sea level - Life on the ocean floor

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© 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)