A lot of oceans in the solar system are much, much bigger than Earth's


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Skye Gould/Business Insider

About one-tenth of 1% of Earth's volume is water.

Astronomers on Wednesday announced that Pluto, located a chilly 3 billion miles away from the sun, likely hides a giant ocean.


But it's not the only world in the solar system that's swimming in water, and scientists keep finding more wherever they look.

On September 28, researchers reported that Dione - a small moon of Saturn - probably has a subsurface ocean, too.

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And a moon of Jupiter called Europa, which is roughly the size of our own moon, probably has an ocean underneath its shell of ice with more than twice as much water as there is on Earth (some 320 million cubic miles' worth).

To see just how Earth stacks up against other ocean worlds, Business Insider contacted Steve Vance, a planetary scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who's calculated how much water might be out there.


The to-scale graphics below uses Vance's planetary data, plus the United States Geological Survey's detailed inventory of Earth's water, to show the plausible volumes of water - separated into liquid and ice - for the nine verified and suspected ocean worlds so far.

We'll note that Earth has such a small volume of ice, at least relative to these watery worlds, that it's not depicted in these graphics.