About 30 million years ago, Red Sea was created as a result of the movement of the plates of the earth’s surface. During that time, the Arab Peninsula was torn off from Africa, forming a thin break line that was filled by the water from the ocean.
Red Sea stretches towards the north to the city of Suez starting from the straits of Babl-Mendeb. It extends up to a distance of 1450 miles with a width of 205 miles. Average depth of Red Sea ranges from 2500-3500 feet with its deepest point located north of Straits of Tiran.
Red Sea is home to several living creatures, coral formations and reefs. This sea consists of around 200 coral types, 1000 species of invertebrates, over 1000 species of fish. Hence, it attracts photographers, scientists and divers from across the world.
Interestingly, there are 25 islands in Red Sea, among which the most commonly known for diving purposes are Giftun Island, Gubal Island, Brothers Islands, Rocky Island, Tiran Island and Zabargad Island.
Red Sea, which is famous for its crystal clear water, was considered to be one of the world’s most tantalizing seascape environments however, now pollution seems to have taken control of its surroundings. Red Sea, also referred as Bahr al-Ahmar in Arabic, is geologically a recent opening and is rated among the youngest oceanic zones present on earth.
Located between Asia and Africa, the Red Sea covers nine countries and its waters provide vital recreation activities along with supporting the fishing industries of the zone. The northernmost point of this sea is the Sinai Peninsula which stretches over 1000 miles towards the south and joins Indian Ocean between Yemen and Ethiopia.
Due to the pressure built by population and industries, the shoreline and the coastal regions of the Red Sea have become environmentally fragile.
Towards the north, Red Sea is divided into Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez and joins the Mediterranean Sea through the manmade Suez Canal.
Red Sea became a route for the shipping of goods in 1869 and soon gained popularity as an international trading route for the travellers coming from Europe.
The name ‘Red Sea’ is derived from the extensive growth of its resident blue algae, Trichodesmium erythraeum, which dyes the blue-green water and turns it orange-red. There are other explanations regarding the name as well. One such explanation states that during summer, the reflection of the setting sun casts a red appearance on the sea and hence the name. Another suggests that the name was derived from the colour of the corals found here.
In the Egyptian Red Sea, there are about 17 major shipwrecks among which Thistlegorm and the Salem Express are famous. During the Second World War, Thistlegorm, an English warship, was destroyed by Germans and it sunk to the bottom of the sea.
For most part of the year, the climate of Red Sea is hot and dry. The temperature of the water is constant throughout the year with an average of 27°C in summer and 21°C in winter. January is the coolest month of the year with July and August being the warmest.
The clownfish, Nemo, is found in the Red Sea reefs hidden in the tentacles of the colorful sea anemones.