The largest part of the world ocean, the Pacific Ocean covers almost 64,000,000 sq. mi., over one-third of the world's total surface and more than the combined area of all the world's continents. Its width at the equator is about half the circumference of the earth.
European firsts: Marco Polo saw it, Balboa recognized it, Capt. Cook extensively explored it, and Magellan named it.
The Pacific may be peaceful at times, but it is also known for its devastating storms. The fragile crust under this ocean suffers frequent earthquakes; more than 300 undersea volcanoes are still active. In 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa, between Java and Sumatra in the Greater Sunda Islands of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) blew its top, sending 100-foot tidal waves inundating nearby islands, killing over 36,000 people and raining volcanic dust over the area for more than a year after.