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large body of saline water
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Surface view of the Atlantic Ocean

Oceans are major bodies of saline water, and the principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (~3.6×108 km2) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.

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  • You know, the ocean’s the biggest damned snowflake ever? It rolls and swells a thousand shapes and colors, no two alike.
  • That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
    Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
    Are but the solemn decorations all
    Of the great tomb of man.
  • Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!
    Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
    Man marks the earth with ruin—his control
    Stops with the shore.
  • Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow,
    Such as Creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.
  • The image of Eternity—the throne
    Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
    The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
    Obeys thee; thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.
  • And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
    Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
    Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
    I wanton'd with thy breakers.
    * * * * * *
    And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
  • There's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in,
    Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine.


  • Vieil océan, tu es le symbole de l'identité: toujours égal à toi-même. Tu ne varies pas d'une manière essentielle, et, si tes vagues sont quelque part en furie, plus loin, dans quelque autre zone, elles sont dans le calme le plus complet.
    • I hail you, old ocean! Old ocean, you are the symbol of identity: always equal unto yourself. In essence, you never change, and if somewhere your waves are enraged, farther off in some other zone they are in the most complete calm.
    • Comte de Lautréamont, Les Chants de Maldoror (1972 ed.), p. 13.


  • But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean.


  • Rich and various gems inlay
    The unadorned bosom of the deep.


  • He laid his hand upon "the Ocean's mane,"
    And played familiar with his hoary locks.


  • The ocean and the wind and the stars and the moon will all teach you many things.
    • Jane Roberts, Emir's Education In The Proper Use of Magical Powers (1979) p. 10.


  • Ocean into tempest wrought,
    To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 153.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 554-57.
  • Alone I walked on the ocean strand,
    A pearly shell was in my hand;
    I stooped, and wrote upon the sand
    My name, the year, the day.
    As onward from the spot I passed,
    One lingering look behind I cast,
    A wave came rolling high and fast,
    And washed my lines away.
  • Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
    The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear.
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 14. Original found in a poem by Cardinal Barberini.
  • Quoth the Ocean, "Dawn! O fairest, clearest,
    Touch me with thy golden fingers bland;
    For I have no smile till thou appearest
    For the lovely land."
  • He maketh the deep to boil like a pot.
    • Job. XLI. 31.
  • Past are three summers since she first beheld
    The ocean; all around the child await
    Some exclamation of amazement here:
    She coldly said, her long-lasht eyes abased,
    Is this the mighty ocean? is this all?
  • But I have sinuous shells of pearly hue;
    * * * * *
    Shake one, and it awakens; then apply
    Its polished lips to your attentive ear,
    And it remembers its august abodes,
    And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there.
  • The land is dearer for the sea,
    The ocean for the shore.
  • Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea.
  • And Thou, vast Ocean! on whose awful face
    Time's iron feet can print no ruin trace.
  • Deep calleth unto deep.
    • Psalms. XLII. 7..
  • A life on the ocean wave!
    A home on the rolling deep;
    Where the scattered waters rave,
    And the winds their revels keep!
  • The always wind-obeying deep.
  • Thou wert before the Continents, before
    The hollow heavens, which like another sea
    Encircles them and thee, but whence thou wert,
    And when thou wast created, is not known,
    Antiquity was young when thou wast old.
  • We follow and race
    In shifting chase,
    Over the boundless ocean-space!
    Who hath beheld when the race begun?
    Who shall behold it run?
  • Rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
    • A few swimming in the vast deep.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 118.
  • I send thee a shell from the ocean-beach;
    But listen thou well, for my shell hath speech.
    Hold to thine ear
    And plain thou'lt hear
    Tales of ships.
  • Rocked in the cradle of the deep,
    I lay me down in peace to sleep.
  • In chambers deep,
    Where waters sleep,
    What unknown treasures pave the floor.
  • A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean.
    • Zhuangzi (c. 369-286 BC) : Of a person who has limited life experience and hence world view

See alsoEdit

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