The Atlantic Ocean, which is second only to the Pacific in terms of size, comprises more than 41 million square miles. This ocean has mountainous coastlines, lush tropical islands, and the greatest drainage area in the world.

According to the Greek philosopher Plato’s dialogues “Timaeus” and “Critias,” the Atlantic Ocean touches four separate continents, including the mythological lost land of Atlantis. For this piece, however, we will only consider the continents and coastlines that exist outside of mythology. Continue reading to learn about the Atlantic Ocean’s borders.


The definition of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean dates back to the Jurassic period, 150 million years ago, when the supercontinent Pangea split into Laurasia and Gondwanaland. The disintegration of the Laurasia continent resulted in the separation of the continents of North America, Europe, and Asia (Greenland is also a result of Laurasia’s dissolution).

Consequently, the split of the Gondwanaland supercontinent produced the continents of Antarctica, Australia, Africa, and South America. The Atlantic Ocean can be traced back to the separation of the North American and Eurasian plates.

Today, the Atlantic Ocean borders the continents of North and South America, Africa, and Europe. And while not being classed as a continent, Central America also contains countries with oceanic coastlines.

The Atlantic Ocean divides the European and African continents from the western hemisphere of the North American and South American continents. Additionally, it is the youngest of the five oceans.

Name Origins of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean was named after the god Atlas in Greek mythology. It translates to “sea of Atlas,” where Atlas is claimed to have carried out his responsibilities. In Greek mythology, Atlas was burdened with holding up the sky as punishment for his conflict with the Olympic Gods. In tribute to Atlas, the Atlas Mountains and waters off the Strait of Gibraltar bear his name.

It is believed that the name Atlantic originally appeared in the Histories of Herodotus around 450 B.C. Greece.

Prior to the late 19th century, the southern region of the Atlantic Ocean was referred to as the Ethiopian Ocean. At that time, the south section of the Atlantic Ocean was also known as Aethiopian, sea, or ocean. The Ethiopian Ocean refers to the South Atlantic Ocean and was synonymous with the Ethiopian Sea.

Even though Ethiopia is not on the coast of Africa, it is one of the world’s oldest countries, and Europeans frequently used its name, “Aethiopia,” to refer to various regions of Africa.

Beginning and End of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is located between North and South America to the west and Europe and Africa to the east. The Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean are connected by the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea, and the Denmark Strait. In addition, until the 1540s, the Gulf of Mexico was a part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic coastline

The United States is one of the countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, and fourteen of its states are located on the Atlantic Coast.








State of New Hampshire

State of New Jersey

New York City

State of North Carolina

Rhode Island

State of South Carolina


Florida, North Carolina, and Maine have the longest coastlines among the 14 American states along the Atlantic Coast, often known as the East Coast or the Eastern Seaboard. The Eastern Seaboard of Canada is likewise situated on the Atlantic Coast. Greenland, a neighbouring nation, is also one of the nations that border the Atlantic Ocean.

Countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Although experts anticipate that the Atlantic Ocean may disappear in approximately 220 million years, there are now 51 other Atlantic Ocean nations.

Africa’s Atlantic Coastal Region

There are 22 countries on the African continent that border the Atlantic Ocean.





Equatorial Guinea



Guinea Bissau

Africa’s Ivory Coast







Sierra Leone

African nation of South Africa

The Congo, Democratic Republic of

This is the Gambia



Western Sahara

And in the African Atlantic, tropical storms and hurricanes originate from Africa’s western coast.

Coast of South America’s Atlantic Ocean

There are eight countries in South America that border the Atlantic Ocean.









The Atlantic Ocean borders the South American islands, the Falkland Islands, French Guiana, South Georgia, and South Sandwich Islands.

The Atlantic coast of Europe

European countries that border the Atlantic Ocean include the United Kingdom, Iceland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Other Atlantic Ocean countries in Europe include Portugal, Spain, western France, western Scandinavia, and portions of northern Germany.

The Canary Islands of Spain and the Azores of Portugal are likewise located in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mexico and Central American Countries

The Yucat√°n Peninsula connects the continent of America with the Atlantic Ocean. The Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean are connected by the Straits of Florida.

The Atlantic coastlines of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama are located in Central America. Both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans border Mexico.

The Antilles

Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Aruba, Grenada, Haiti, and Jamaica are among the 29 Atlantic Ocean island territories and countries.

The Atlantic’s Principal Seas

As the Atlantic Ocean continues to expand, its current arrangement of 10 seas may change in the future. However, the Atlantic Ocean is currently comprised of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Norwegian, Greenland, Scotia, North, Baltic, and Irish seas. Additionally, the English Channel and Hudson Bay are considered seas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic Coastline Attractions

The continents of Africa, South America, and Europe have countries and island territories that are not only geographically but also aesthetically distinct.

Causeway Coast Road in Northern Ireland

From Belfast to Derry-Londonderry, the Causeway Coastal Route is approximately 120 miles. It is a popular destination for tourists. Along the Irish Sea, the Gobbins cliff features a cave-exploration route built into its steep cliff face.

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

Tourists in the Caribbean reserve flights to Namibia’s 1,570-kilometer coastline. Reportedly, 500 ships are wrecked along the coast and dunes, among animals such as lions, elephants, and seals.

Cape Town’s Atlantic coastline

Queens Beach and Bakoven Beach are two of the popular beaches along Cape Town’s rugged Atlantic coastline. Lion Head Mountain in Cape Town is 2,195 feet above sea level. Additionally, Lion Head is distinguished by its three separate rock layers.

The Twelve Apostles is a mountain within the Table Mountain ranges. This mountain range crosses the Atlantic coast and is replete with canyons, ridges, and ravines. Some of the mountain fissures on the 12 Apostles are five metres deep.

The Cathedral Beach in Spain

Cathedral Beach, also known as Catedrais in Portuguese, is located in the Spanish province of Galicia. The Cantabrian Sea cut and took away the weaker portions of the rock, forming natural caves within the mountain’s border along the Atlantic coast. Numerous caverns and mountain arches are approximately 30 metres tall.

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