World Facts

The Sea With No Coastline

The Sargasso Sea is the only sea on Earth without a coastline.

The is found in the Northern region of the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by four currents thus creating an ocean gyre. The Sargasso Sea lies between 70° and 40° West, 20° to 35° North, and it is about 700 by 200 statute miles. The British Territory of Bermuda is found close the sea’s western fringes. All the four currents deposit the refuse and marine plants carried into Sargasso, despite the ocean water being unique for its extraordinary clarity and deep blue color. The sea features an underwater visibility of up to 200 feet. Contrary to the other regions known as seas, the Sargasso Sea has no land boundaries. It is separated from the other regions of the Atlantic Ocean by its calm blue water and its distinctive brown Sargassum seaweed. It is the only sea in the world with no coastline.

History

The Sargasso Sea was named after the Sargassum seaweed, and its history dates back to the early fifteenth century during the explorations of the Portuguese on the Azores Islands and the North Atlantic gyre also known as Volta do mar, around the archipelago’s western region where the seaweed was most prevalent. The sea might have been known by earlier mariners who described the Atlantic as a portion being covered by seaweed in a poem.

Ecology

The Sargasso is a habitat of seaweeds of the genus Sargassum floating as a large masse on the water’s surface. The weeds are no threat to shipping vessels as historical incidents where sailing ships were only trapped as a result of the horse latitudes’ calm winds. The sea plays a big part in the migration of both the American eel and the European eel. Both species hatch their larvae before going to the East Coast of North America or Europe. The mature eel, later on, tries to return to the Sargasso Sea to reproduce and lay their eggs. After they hatch, it is believed that the young Loggerhead sea turtles use the currents, for example, like the Gulf Stream of the Sargasso Sea, using the Sargassum as cover from the predators until they mature. During the early 2000s, the Global Ocean Sampling survey sampled the Sargasso Sea to evaluate how diverse the microbial life is through metagenomics. The results indicated that the region featured a wide range of prokaryotic life contrary to previous theories.

Pollution

Due to the surface currents, the Sea accumulates a large concentration of non-biodegradable plastic waste. The region comprises of the vast North Atlantic Garbage Patch. Several nongovernmental organizations and nations have joined forces to protect the Sargasso Sea; they include the governments of the US, the UK, Azores, Monaco, and Bermuda as well as the Sargasso Sea Commission established on March 11th, 2014. The sea also features bacteria that are found in the plastic-polluted waters of the Sargasso, and the bacteria are believed to consume plastic. However, it is not established whether the bacteria eventually clears up poisons or spreads it somewhere else in the microbial ecosystem of the marine. Since the plastic debris absorbs toxic chemicals due from water ocean pollution, it could lead to the poisoning of anything that ingests it.

Popular Appeal

This body of water has captured the imagination of the public with a wide array of artistic and literary works in popular culture. The Sargasso is always viewed as an area of mystery in both media and literature. It has been featured in classic fantasy stories such as The Boats of the Glen Carrig written by William Hope Hodgson in 1907.

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