Located between Southeast Europe and Asia, the Black Sea is a famous inland sea in the world with enthralling mysteries such as lost civilizations, strange phenomena, etc. The Black Sea is one of the most popular tourist area for cruisers. Here are 7 notable Black Sea facts you should know.
1. The Origin of the name "Black Sea"
It was once called “The Sea,” and later became known as the “Inhospitable Sea,” due to being considered the most difficult body of water to navigate and also the ferocious tribes that populated its shores - before Greek civilization. Ancient Greeks considered it the edge of the known world and conversely called it "Euxeinos Pontos" which means "Hospitable Sea".
Contrary to its modern name, the sea is not literally black in color. Various theories sorround the origin of the name "Black Sea", But the most common theory is that the Ottoman Empire named during medieval times - because it's derived from the Turkish word “Kara” - which translates Black. However, the Turkish word means North and not black as it is perceived.
2. Surrounded by Six Countries in Two Continents
At the size of about 159,600 sq mi, the geographical location of the sea offers a unique adventures and traveling experience to tourists. The black sea constitutes the water boundaries of six different countries, connecting Europe and Asia, namely Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. It is connected with the Mediterranean Sea through Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles.
3. Constant Water Level: Calm Surface without Fluctuations
Another fascinating black sea fact is that the water level doesn't fluctuate, it remains constant because of the absence of high and low tides. Consequently, the sea surface is always calm, quiet and serene, making it one of a kind in the world.
4. Anoxic water - Largest meromictic basin in the world
The black sea is the largest anoxic water body in the world. It has a meromictic basin which implies that movement of water between the lower and upper layers of water in this sea is very limited. This results in a significant temperature difference between these layers with the lower layer completely deprived of Oxygen thus making the bottom of the sea inactive.
Another interesting black water fact here is that at the depth of about 200 meters, the water contains a hydrogen sulphide zone which makes marine life impossible.
The sea receives more water from rivers and rain than it actually evaporates giving it a positive freshwater balance. It gets salt water from the transfer with the Mediterranean Sea. However, the replenishing process performed primarily through the Bosporus is extremely slow - it usually takes hundreds of years. The freshwater and salt water ratio fluctuates with season and it has a significant impact on the marine ecosystem.
5. Ancient relics are surprisingly well preserved
One surprising fact about the black sea is that several wooden shipwrecks of ancient Greek ships - dated back to 3rd and 5th century B.C. - were found by researchers, perfectly preserved at the sea bed. It is commonly believed that human remains also lie beneath the waters.
The scientific explanation for this is that the anoxic nature (oxygen depleted) of the lower water layers delays decomposition thus preserving the decomposable materials for centuries after their entry into the waters of the black sea.
6. Mount Ararat - Landing place for Noah's Ark
Mount Ararat is located at Eastern Turkey - along the coastline of the Black Sea. The black sea fact about this mountain is that it is the potential landing place for Noah's Ark (in Bible History) after sailing for several months in the flood.
Although this cannot be proven, scientific findings revealed that the black sea experienced a catastrophic water levels rise circa 5,000 years BC.
This with other facts grew the popularity of the black sea
7. Ten exotic islands in three different countries
The black sea has ten small exotic islands which covers an expanse of three different countries. The islands incorporates a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna which makes it more thrilling and fascinating to explore.
Black Sea islands attracts thousands of tourists annually.
These 7 notable Black Sea facts has made it one of the most popular choice destination for tourists’ vacations. The uncommon experience of touring the Mediterranean Sea, amidst six countries makes it a cruising sea. Cruise ships visits the black sea all year round taking people on maritime adventures.
There are more black sea secrets to explore, visiting will give you first hand information which you could share with us. Plan a cruise vacation, and board one for a memorable experience.