World Ocean Day Awesomeness

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A view overlooking Butterfly Beach in Montecito, Santa Barbara, California.
Blaine Harrington III/Corbis

June 8 is World Oceans Day, and in recognition thereof, groups and individuals around the world are holding events - from cleaning up a wetland in Cape Town, to "creature observation" on the tidal flats of Japan's Shiba City, to a day-long festival in Santa Barbara - of oceanic celebration and education.

It's great that the ocean has a day all of its very own, of course, and even better that the United Nations has given the day its official imprimatur. But there's a case to be made that, frankly, every day should be ocean day. After all, Earth is the only planet known to have liquid water on its surface and the only planet known to have life. These facts are not coincidental.

Not only did life on Earth began in the ocean; more than 3.5 billion years later, the ocean and atmosphere are engaged in an interplay that continues to make continued life on Earth possible. The ocean is the engine that drives our planet's climate systems: without it, Earth would be intolerably hot during the day and frozen at night.

Pretty good reason, all by itself, to be thankful for the ocean, right? In celebration of its one officially-recognized day, here are some other blow-your-mind nuggets about the magnificence of the ocean realm:

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