Earth’s land, the hard rock shell on its surface, is called the crust. Any part of the Earth’s crust that rises above the oceans is called continental crust. Any part of the Earth’s crust that is covered by the oceans is called oceanic crust.  If you could drain the ocean water away you would be able to see the oceanic crust, the land, under the oceans.


Earth is sometimes called the “water planet” because so much of its crust covered with water. Most of that water is in Earth’s oceans. How much of the Earth’s crust is covered by the oceans? Do this investigation and see how good you are at estimating the amount of oceanic crust under Earth’s oceans.


What you need:

What to do:


The National Geographic Channel used computer models and drained the oceans. Want to see what some of that ocean crust looks like? View some video clips and more from the Drain the Oceans.


What else do you want know about Earth’s ocean land? Make a list of your questions and see what you can find out. Here’s a place to start learning about Earth’s ocean land. You might even find out the answer to the question “How much of Earth’s crust is covered by ocean water?”