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The World Ocean: Earth's Oceans Earth's oceans cover a little over 70 percent of the surface of the planet. Oceans cover about 70% of planet Earth's surface. Many people refer to planet Earth as "the water planet" for this reason. Earth is at just the right distance from the sun so that water can be liquid at the surface. Planets closer to the sun have water mainly as vapor and planets farther away from the sun have water mainly as ice (solid water). Earth has all three forms of water vapor, liquid, and solid (ice). Because of