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What are the largest seas?

Parts of oceans that are surrounded by islands or otherwise partially enclosed are often known as seas. The five largest seas

A NASA image measuring temperatures on the Earth reveals the pattern of ocean currents (photo courtesy NASA, Visible Earth Project).

A NASA image measuring temperatures on the Earth reveals the pattern of ocean currents (photo courtesy NASA, Visible Earth Project).

in order are: the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean, the Bering Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is the Mediterranean Sea so salty?

Due to the high temperatures in the Mediterranean region, evaporation of the Mediterranean Sea occurs more rapidly than in other bodies of water, therefore more salt is left behind. The warm, dense, salty water in the Mediterranean is replaced by less salty and dense Atlantic water in the Strait of Gibraltar. Water that flows into the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean usually remains in the Sea for anywhere from 80 to 100 years before returning to the Atlantic Ocean.

Has the Mediterranean Sea always been there?

Salt and sediment found at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea prove that on several occasions the Mediterranean Sea has dried up, leaving a large layer of salt behind. Scientists speculate that the Strait of Gibraltar has, on occasion, closed up, keeping water from being able to flow back and forth between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

What are the seven seas?

The "seven seas" spoken of by mariners from long ago are oceans or parts of oceans. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are so large that they were each divided into two "seas." The Antarctic, Indian, and Arctic were also considered seas, thus totaling seven. If a sailor had sailed upon all seven seas, he had sailed around the world. There are not just seven but dozens of seas in the world.

Where are the four colored seas: Black, Yellow, Red, and White?

The four colored seas are not geographically associated with one another. The Black Sea is located near the Balkan Peninsula and is bordered by Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine (it is also the home of the port city of Odessa). The Red Sea is located to the south of the Black Sea, between the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia), and Africa. The Red Sea has been a major trade route for hundreds of years and has been especially useful since the completion of the Suez Canal. The White Sea is in northern Europe. It is part of the Arctic Ocean and is a Russian sea (it lies to the east of Finland). The Yellow Sea is far to the east, between China and the Korean Peninsula.

Is the Black Sea really black?

No, it is not. This sea, located to the north of Turkey, is quite deep and has darker looking water than most water bodies, but receives its name from the inhospitableness of the waters for sailing.

A desalination plant in the Caribbean pumps salt water out of the ocean and makes it suitable for drinking.

A desalination plant in the Caribbean pumps salt water out of the ocean and makes it suitable for drinking.

What is a desalination plant?

A desalination plant pumps ordinary seawater through a variety of expensive processes, transforming the salty water into fresh water. This process has been used with some success in Texas, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. It is much more efficient and less expensive, however, to clean waste water (water that has been used for bathing, cooking, cleaning, etc.) than it is to clean and desalinate seawater.

How many desalination plants are there?

There are approximately 13,000 plants located throughout the world. Saudi Arabia alone accounts for 24 percent of the world output of freshwater from desalination.

Where is the biggest desalination plant in the United States?

The biggest American desalination plant is in Tampa, Florida. It has an output of 25 million gallons (94.6 million liters) per day. This is a fraction of the largest plant in the world, the Jebel Ali Plant. Located in the United Arab Emirates, it produces over 200 million gallons (757 million liters) per day.

 
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