Why Is The Ocean Blue?

The ocean is blue because of the way it absorbs the sunlight. When the white light from the sun enters the ocean, the red, orange and yellow hues are absorbed more strongly than blue, therefore we’re able to see the color blue. However, if there are impurities in the water such as algae or mud from a storm, you may see a greener or browner color instead.

Want to discover more about life below the ocean’s surface? Download and print our connect the dots printable to make your own scuba diver ready for the big blue ocean. Then don’t forget to swim through the other tabs to find marine life facts and fun activities.

Shark Facts

Sharks have starred in horror movies and traumatic news stories for several years, but they’ve been gracing our oceans since far before our time—over 400 million years before human existence that is. Despite what you see in the movies, it’s extremely unlikely to be attacked by a shark. You have a better chance of being injured while riding a bike!

Here are some other fun facts about sharks that you might not know:

  • The largest known shark to live was called the Megalodon, which lived on Earth from about 23 to 2.58 million years ago. This massive species could grow to over 53 feet long and feasted on smaller whales.
  • Sharks live in a variety of different habitats around the world. While some species thrive in deep, frigid waters, others spend time basking in the sun of shallow waters. There are over 500 species of sharks on Earth.
  • Carnivorous sharks aren’t picky eaters! If their prey is limited, they’ll feed on whatever is available like fish, crustaceans, seals, dolphins and sometimes even marine birds.
  • Sharks have a keen sense of smell that allows them to differentiate prey from a predator and even determine their exact location.
  • Sharks need to constantly move to stay alive. Since they don’t have the muscles to pump water through their system like we do for breathing, the movement of swimming is what keeps them from drowning.
  • Humans are shark’s biggest predator.
  • Since a shark’s skeleton is made out of cartilage, when a shark dies, its entire body is dissolved by the saltwater—only leaving behind its teeth.

To learn more about the shark’s anatomy, download and print our shark labeler! Use the key to study the parts of a shark and then test yourself with the blank version.

All About Coral Reef

Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia spans more than 1,500 miles? You can compare that to driving for 23 hours straight on the highway.

Coral reefs are marine ecosystems bursting with life just below the ocean's surface. Thousands of fish, sea turtles and microorganisms depend on coral reefs for food or shelter, making them a vital part of our ocean.

Each individual coral is called a polyp. It has a hard base that attaches to a rock or the sea floor, and uses its soft stinging tentacles to feed on zooplankton and small fish when they’re not using algae for nourishment. Polyps form identical colonies that make up the coral reef, some of which have been around for millions of years.

To learn more about what you can find in and around a coral reef, download and print our coral reef word search. From sharks and stingrays, to plankton and krill, you’ll soon be a pro on coral reef lingo!

Life of a Sea Turtle

Sea turtles have been around since the time of dinosaurs! There are seven species of sea turtles—each have different diets but some common foods are sea grasses, crabs, clams, snails, shrimp and jellyfish.

Sea turtles are known to spend their life in the ocean, but females come ashore to nest from once to several times per season. One of the most fascinating habits of the female sea turtle is their ability to nest on the same beach that they were born on. Some will migrate long distances as far as 1,400 miles between feeding and nesting.

Six out of the seven species of sea turtles are endangered, making it extremely important to prohibit hunting and keep the ocean clean. One more reason to pick up all of your trash after spending time on the beach!

Color your own sea turtle by downloading and printing our coloring page! Use greens, browns and yellows to create a sea turtle like you see here or use your imagination by choosing your favorite colors.

What is a crustacean?

Crustacea have hard exoskeletons, jointed appendages and a five-segmented head. Sounds crazy, right?

You might actually be more familiar with them than you thought—common crustacea are crabs, lobsters and shrimp. Beyond the kinds that make up the seafood industry, there are more than 70,000 species of crustacea on Earth.

One of the largest crustacea in the world is the Japanese Spider Crab, whose body can grow up to 15 inches in diameter with a leg span of 15 feet. They are also fantastic at camouflaging their shells. In addition to having a bumpy shell that blends into the ocean floor, they’ll add sponges and other animals to disguise themselves from larger predators. It’s no surprise that the Japanese Spider Crab can live up to 100 years!

Get your scissors and glue stick ready to create your own crustacean craft! All you need to do is download our printable, cut along the lines and glue the pieces together.