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Ross Sea
Ross Sea, Summer 2016 25.jpg
Sea ice in the Ross Sea
Seas of Antarctica, with the Ross Sea in the bottom-left
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 75°S 175°W / 75°S 175°W / -75; -175
Type Sea
Etymology James Ross
Primary outflows Southern Ocean
Bloom in the Ross Sea
Bloom in the Ross Sea, January 2011

The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land.


The Ross Sea was discovered by James Ross in 1841. In the west of the Ross Sea is Ross Island. In the east is Roosevelt Island. The southern part is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf. In the west of the Ross sea, McMurdo Sound is a port which is usually free of ice during the summer. The southernmost part of the Ross Sea is Gould Coast, which is about two hundred miles from the Geographic South Pole.

All land masses in the Ross Sea are claimed by New Zealand.

A 10 metre (32.8 feet) long colossal squid weighing 495 kilograms (1,091 lb) was captured in the Ross Sea on February 22, 2007.

Ecological importance and conservation

The flora and fauna are similar to other southern Antarctic marine regions. In summer there are a lot of plankton. They provide food for larger species, such as fish, seals, whales, and sea- and shore-birds.

The coastal parts of the sea have a number of rookeries of Adélie and Emperor penguins. They have been seen at a number of places around the Ross Sea, both towards the coast and outwards in open sea.

The Ross Sea is one of the last parts of seas on Earth that is mostly unaffected by human activities. Because of this, it is almost totally free from pollution, overfishing and the introduction of invasive species. Some people want to make the area a world marine reserve.

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