Cartographers at the National Geographic have finally recognised Antarctica’s Southern Ocean on their maps, bringing their count of Earth’s ocean to five.
The society which has been releasing maps of the world since 1915 publicly announced their new policy yesterday, to coincide with World Ocean Day.
National Geographic have defined the ocean as being bound by the current that flows around Antartica with a northernmost reach up to the 60th parallel south. The Southern Ocean joins the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific on their charts, although the Antarctica encircling body’s status remains contested. National Geographic Society geographer Alex Tait said: “As there was never a global agreement, we never recognised it. It’s sort of geographic nerdiness”.