The Red Sea is a small part of the Indian Ocean. The Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden connect this inlet to the Indian Ocean. It is located between Africa and Asia. On its eastern side, it borders Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Israel and on the western side, Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan and Djibouti. It has various names including Gulf of Arabia and the Erythrean Sea.
History of the Red Sea: –
Because of its beauty and marine biodiversity, its northern section has been named as one of the seven wonders of the underwater world. This sea was formed when Arabia split from the Northern Africa by Red Sea Rift.
This rift started 34 to 56 million years ago and increased its pace 23 to 34 million years ago. The land on either side reaches heights of more than 6,560 feet above sea level. This complex rift system includes the East African Rift System.
Early Exploration: –
Ancient Egyptians were the first to explore the Red Sea between 2500 BCE and 1500 BCE. They attempted to establish commercial routes to Punt. During the medieval times, it was an important part of the spice trade route.
This sea evaporated completely and the Bab el Mandeb strait closed down during the Tertiary period.
It is measured 2,250 kilometers in length and 355 kilometers in width at its widest point. With a total surface area of 438,000 square kilometers, it holds approximately 233,000 cubic kilometers of water. The average depth of the Red sea is 490 meters and at Suakin Trough which is its deepest point, it is measured 3,040 meters.
Crossing the Red Sea: –
There is a famous story in the Bible which tells how Moses approached the Red Sea in 1250 BC when he was leading the Israelites in a daring escape from the Egyptian Army. He was a Pharaoh chosen by God to help Israelites out from slavery in Egypt. At that time, God separated the Red Sea so that Israelites can go safely on dry land. Once they all safely reached there, the sea crashed back, trapping and killing all the Egyptians.
Quick Facts: –
- The Red Sea is the northernmost tropical sea in the world.
- This sea has got this name because sometimes it looks red because of the algae trichodesmium erythraeum present in it.
- This name signifies the seasonal blooms of the red-colored algae near the water’s surface.
- It has many diving sites including Daedalus Reef, Elphinstone Reef and Rocky Island etc.
- Napoleon Bonaparte was charged by France with invading Egypt and capturing the Red Sea in 1798.
- The average temperature of this sea’s water during summer is 26°C in the north and 30°C in the south.
- The average surface temperature varies by only 2 degrees during the winter season.
- Because of high evaporation, the sea is one the saltiest water bodies in the world.
- It is home to more than 1200 species of fish, over 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 soft and hard corals.
- Right from the center of the sea, many volcanic islands rise. Most of them are dormant.
- Waters of the sea get exchanged with the waters of Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea via the Gulf of Aden.
- The trough of the sea is believed to be formed in at least two complex phases of land motion.
- It is also one of the most heavily traveled waterways in the world.
Question & Answers: –
Ques. Why was the sea called the ‘Red Sea’?
Ans. It got this name because of Trichodesmium erythraeum. It is a type of algae which is present in the sea.
Ques. Is it possible to swim in this water body?
Ans. Yes, it is.
Ques. Does the water of this sea keep you floating?
Ans. Yes, because of the high salinity level of this sea it keeps you afloat.
Ques. What is the Arabic name of the Red Sea?
Ans. Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar
Ques. Which canal connects it to the Mediterranean Sea?
Ans. Suez Canal
Ques. Red Sea is home to the world’s fastest fish. What is the name of that fish?
Ans. Sailfish. It can travel at a speed of 68 miles per hour.
Ques. Are sharks be found in the Red Sea?
Ques. At the northern end, the Red Sea splits into which two parts?
Ans. The Gulf of Suez to the northwest and the Gulf of Aqaba to the northeast.
Ques. When did the Gulf of Suez open?
Ans. About 30 million years ago.
Ques. What is the depth of the Gulf of Suez?
Ans. 180 to 210 feet
Ques. What is the depth of the Gulf of Aqaba?
Ans. 5,500 feet
Ques. Red Sea’s development resembles which other ocean’s early stages?
Ans. Atlantic Ocean