The African, Indian, and Antarctic crustal plates converge in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean is far calmer, and thus opened to trade earlier, than the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.
Along with these changes in ocean temperature, strong winds blow from east to west at the equator, across Indonesia and the eastern Indian Ocean.
The southeastern Indian Ocean may become as many as 5 to 6 degrees Celsius cooler than the western part.
Among the few large rivers flowing into the Indian Ocean are the Zambezi, Arvandrud/Shatt-al-Arab, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Ayeyarwady River.
Cold water upwelling in the eastern Indian Ocean is part of a climate phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole, during which the eastern half of the ocean becomes much cooler than the western half.
The Indian Ocean remains the third-largest of the world's five oceans.
The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and the Americas.
The Dutch East India Company (1602-1798) sought control of trade with the East across the Indian Ocean.
The warmth of the Indian Ocean keeps phytoplankton production low, except along the northern fringes and in a few scattered spots elsewhere; life in the ocean is thus limited.
An estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean.
On December 26, 2004, the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean were hit by a tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
The Indian Ocean contains 16 percent of the world’s coral reefs.
The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean is approximately 30° north latitude in the Persian Gulf and, thus, has asymmetric ocean circulation.
The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world.
A decision by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 delimited a fifth world ocean, stripping the southern portions of the Indian Ocean.
From 1405 to 1433, Admiral Zheng He led large fleets of the Ming Dynasty on several voyages to the Western Ocean (Chinese name for the Indian Ocean) and reached the coastal country of East Africa.
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering about 20 percent of the Earth's water surface.