The Red Sea is a strip of water and an inlet of the Indian Ocean occupying the area separating the continent of Africa from Asia. It is linked to the ocean on the south via the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. The northern portion of the Red Sea is the Gulf of Suez which links to the famous Suez Canal. The Red Sea covers an area of approximately 169,000 square miles and is about 1395 miles long. The widest point of the sea is 220.6 miles and the deepest point at central Suakin Trough is 9,970 feet while the average depth is 1,608 feet. The Red Sea horbor over 1,000 species of invertebrates. Religiously, the Red Sea acted as a miraculous passage for the Israelites from who were escaping from Egypt.
Countries Bordering The Red Sea
The Red Sea can be geographically divided into three portions. The three sections include the Red Sea proper which is in the north, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez which connects to the Suez Canal. A total of six countries border the Red Sea proper. The countries are mainly in the continents of Africa and Asia since the Red Sea runs between the two continents. The countries border the sea either on the eastern or western shores. However, the shores can further be broken down to the northern and southern shores.
Yemen and Saudi Arabia border the Red Sea on the eastern shore. Saudi Arabia is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba. The Red Sea makes Saudi Arabia one of the eco-diverse countries in Asia, recording more than 1,200 species of fish, 10% of which cannot be found anywhere else.The sea, together with the Persian Gulf, is an important source of water in the country. However, the water has to be desalinized before distribution and use.
Yemen is bordered by the Red Sea to the north. It controls several Red Sea islands including Kamaran, Perim, Hanish, and Socotra. Yemen’s Red Sea coastline is very arid and flat due to the effects of the Tihama (hot land). The desert plains of the Red Sea are important grounds for the camel jumping sport among the Zaraniq tribe.
Four African countries border the Red Sea on the western side. The Red Sea is bordered by Egypt to the west and north, and Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea to the west. The first people to explore the Red Sea are thought to be the Egyptians who were in search of possible trade routes southwards around 2500 BC. The Gulf of Suez which connects to the Suez Canal is entirely bordered by Egypt while the Gulf of Aqaba is bordered by Egypt alongside Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Egypt, Israel, and Jordan can be further considered to be bordering the northern shores while Djibouti and Eritrea border the southern shores. In addition to the six countries discussed above, other areas including Somali are often considered as Red Sea territories due to their proximity to the sea and the geographical similarities with the countries bordering the red sea.