Where does the oxygen we breathe come from?

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Oxygen! Our next breath depends on it. It’s what we need to breathe and live! But have you ever wondered where it comes from? 

Most of the earth’s oxygen comes from ocean plants called phytoplankton which is a tiny marine algae and is the base of several aquatic food webs, and gives food to snails, dolphins,  jellyfish, etc.

Phytoplankton – the foundation of the oceanic food chain. Scientists estimate that phytoplankton contributes between 50 to 85 percent of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Image via NOAA

Oxygen comes from various plants, but 50-85% of it is released from the oceans and seas.

Like any other plant, phytoplankton photosynthesizes and as a result, oxygen is released as a byproduct.

The rest of the oxygen is formed by bushes, trees, shrubs, grass, and other plants!

Amazon Rainforest

People believe that 20% of the oxygen comes from the Amazon Rainforest but that is physically impossible.


Arya is an avid learner and loves to write. He likes to take on new interesting topics through in-depth research. Arya is also a trained singer, video editor, voice-over artist and loves photography.  

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