Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

ic divisions. With a total area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 of about 106400000 square kilometres (41,081,269.7 sq mi), it covers approximately 20% of the Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's surface and about 26% of its water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 surface area. The first part of its name refers to Atlas
Atlas (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Atlas was the primordial Titan who supported the heavens. Although associated with various places, he became commonly identified with the Atlas Mountains in north-west Africa...

 of Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, making the Atlantic the "Sea of Atlas".

The oldest known mention of "Atlantic" is in The Histories
Histories (Herodotus)
The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that...

 of Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 around 450 BC (Hdt.

1492    Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic for the first time.

1520    The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America, connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation voyage.

1520    After navigating through the South American strait, three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.

1815    Napoleon I of France begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.

1819    The {{SS|Savannah}} leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20.

1854    The steamship ''SS Arctic'' sinks with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1855    The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway.

1912    The British passenger liner, the {{RMS|Titanic}}, sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting an iceberg. 1,517 people are killed.

1919    The British dirigible R34 lands in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

1919    The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, England, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.