American Oceans

What Are The Seven Seas?

Depending on the point in history, the phrase “sail the Seven Seas” has meant different things to different people. Ancient Hindus, Chinese, Persians, Romans, and other nations all used the name “Seven Seas.”

What Are The Seven Seas (Atlantic Ocean)

Historically, the phrase referred to bodies of water along trade routes and regional waters; however, in certain situations, the seas are fictional and not genuine bodies of water. 

The word “Seven Seas” has evolved into a symbolic term to designate a sailor who has traversed all of the world’s seas and oceans, rather than literally seven. Think of it as a hyperbolic term that sailors could use to brag about their travels. 

The word “Seven Seas” can be traced back to ancient Sumer about 2300 B.C., when it was used in a song by Inanna, the goddess of sexual love, fertility, and combat, by Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna. 

seven seas sunrise in the ocean side

The streams that formed the Oxus River, the ancient name for the Amu Darya, one of Central Asia’s longest rivers, were the Seven Seas to the Persians.

It runs northwest across the Hindu Kush, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to the Aral Sea, beginning in the Pamir Mountains.

The Septem maria, Latin for Seven Seas, refers to a collection of salt-water lagoons isolated from the open sea by sandbanks near Venice to the ancient Romans. Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and fleet commander, recorded this.

blue salt-water from the open sea

The ancient Arabs identified the Seven Seas as those through which they traveled on their trade routes to the East. The Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Khambhat, and the Bay of Bengal were among them.

The Aegean, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Black, Red, and Caspian seas were the Seven Seas in Greek literature (from which the phrase reached Western literature), with the Persian Gulf thrown in as a “sea.”

The expression applies to the North Sea, Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean, Black, Red, and Arabian seas in Medieval European literature.

The notion of the Seven Seas shifted once more once Europeans ‘found’ North America. Mariners used to refer to the Seven Seas as the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans are all part of the current Seven Seas, which encompass the Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans.

Our oceans are most generally classified geographically as the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern (Antarctic) Oceans.

Which of the Seven Seas is the largest?

It’s difficult to determine which of the “Seven Seas” is the largest when it’s more of an idea rather than a set-in-stone system.

The Seven Seas and the concept of it have changed dramatically over the years, and some periods in history were more inclusive than others.

However, if we’re looking at the Seven Seas today, we can accept them as; The North Atlantic ocean, the south Atlantic ocean, north pacific ocean, the south pacific ocean, the arctic ocean, the southern ocean, and the Indian ocean. 

So, if going by today’s rules, the largest of the Seven Seas would be the Pacific Ocean. But it’s important to remember that “Seven Seas” is more of an everyday informal saying, rather than an exact science. 

What’s the difference between a sea and an ocean?

It is a widespread notion that the ocean and the sea are synonymous. In reality, these two words are frequently used interchangeably by those who are ignorant of their meanings. An ocean is a much greater body of open water than a sea.

A sea, by definition, is a smaller section of an ocean that is usually partially surrounded by land. As a result, all seas are found where the ocean and land meet. Land usually partially encloses seas.

The difference between oceans and seas:

  • Location – The ocean is a huge body of saltwater that is open to the sky. While there is theoretically only one ocean, it is divided into five major interconnected basins: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic. Seas are a little more difficult to characterize. In general, they are bodies of water that are partially or completely enclosed or surrounded by land. There are, however, a few significant outliers of entirely landlocked waters.
  • Size – With 168 million square kilometers, the Pacific Ocean is by far the largest. It stretches from the north to the south of the globe, bordering various countries in Asia and the Americas. Similarly, determining an average size for our global seas is difficult because they come in diverse shapes and sizes. They are, however, dramatically smaller on average.
  • Depth – The ocean’s average depth is 3,700 meters, however, certain portions go far deeper. There are various ways to categorize the ocean, but most scientists agree on a five-layer model: the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and hadalpelagic zones. Seas are often considerably shallower and smaller than oceans. Regardless, some seas are extremely deep.
  • Marine Life – Because seas are calmer settings, fish and other aquatic species thrive there. Plankton and shrimp are examples of more fundamental living forms found in oceans, which are often far deeper and vaster. Because of this key distinction, seas are used more for commercial fishing, whereas oceans are used for mining other resources such as oil and natural gas.

What is the smallest sea in the world?

When most people think of seas, they see a vast expanse of water. However, there are some seas that are no larger than big lakes.

These little seas are found all across the world, each with its own distinct characteristics. It’s debatable which sea is the smallest on the planet. However, many people agree that the smallest sea is most likely Turkey’s Sea of Marmara.

This sea is approximately 7,053 square feet in size. It is an inland sea that connects the Aegean and Black Seas. This sea has multiple gulfs along its shores, as well as two big island chains.

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