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An ocean is a body of saline water that composes a large part of a planet's hydrosphere. in the context of earth, it refers to one or all of the major divisions of the planet's world ocean – they are, in descending order of area, the pacific, atlantic, indian, southern (antarctic), and arctic oceans. the word "sea" is often used interchangeably with "ocean", but strictly speaking a sea is a body of saline water (possibly a division of the world ocean) partly or fully enclosed by land.