We explain what the Mediterranean Sea is, where it is located and how it is divided. Also, what are its characteristics, fauna, flora and more.
It is known as the Mediterranean Sea to one of the seas of the Atlantic Ocean , located in the region that brings together southern Europe , western Asia and northern Africa .
This region was of enormous historical importance for Western civilization , as it was the scene of the development of numerous cultures , such as the Greco-Roman, the Phoenician , the Egyptian , the Hebrew, etc.
The Mediterranean is the second largest inland sea on the planet , after the Caribbean. It is 3,860 kilometers long and covers an area of approximately 2.5 million km 2 . This represents 1% of the world's oceanic extent .
Its volume of water is 3,735,000 km 3 , and its average depth is 1,430 meters . It bathes the three peninsulas in southern Europe (Iberian, Italic and Balkan) and one in Asia (Anatolia).
The name "Mediterranean" comes from the Latin medi terraneum which means "the middle of the earth" .
This is because, in ancient times , the societies that named it only knew the land around this sea . That is why it could be considered the center of the world.
The Greeks gave it the name that continues to this day, which in their language was Mesogeios Thalassa.
The ancient Romans called it " Mare nostrum " or "our sea" , while the ancient Egyptians called it "The Great Green" and the Arabs called it "middle sea" (al-Bahr al-Mutawäsit).
The Mediterranean lies between southern Europe, North Africa, and the west coast of the Near East .
It communicates with the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, with the Black Sea through the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, and with the Red Sea through the Suez Canal.
The Mediterranean Sea is divided into a group of smaller seas, endowed with their own name:
The Mediterranean bathes the coasts of many European countries:
In addition, to the east and south it borders several eastern countries:
It was connected to the Atlantic Ocean until 6 million years ago , when the Messinian Salinity Crisis took place, during which this sea largely dried up.
It may have continued to lose water, but the erosion created a channel 250 km long . Through it flowed a flood from the ocean.
It is believed that this colossal waterfall almost 2 km wide filled the dry space in less than two years. Thus, it modified the geography of the area and created the Mediterranean as we know it today.
Winters are windy but moderate ; hot, dry and calm summers; short autumns and variable springs, associated with the rains .
It can serve you: Mediterranean Climate
Most of the animal and plant species are concentrated in the regions of the Strait of Gibraltar , the Alboran Sea, the African-Spanish coast and the northern Adriatic and Aegean Seas.
However, the Mediterranean is also among the most polluted seas in the world . There is a high presence of hydrocarbons and microplastics, two powerful threats to the ecological balance of plant and animal life.
For this reason, it was the scene of the emergence of different civilizations and empires : ancient Egypt, the Semitic peoples of Israel, ancient Persia , Carthaginian civilization, classical Greek and later Latin antiquity, which later led to the Roman Empire , among others.
The Mediterranean is one of the cradles of Western civilization , and appears in numerous of its founding epic tales.
Seeking better opportunities in Europe, they throw themselves into the sea in precarious boats in which they risk their lives and often meet death. In 2018 alone, more than 1,400 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean in this way.
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