Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Our planet is rich in reservoirs of various shapes, contents and sizes: the variety of seas is amazing. All of them are unique, but they have one thing in common – the level of salts in the water. This forms its composition, affects the flora and fauna, making it diverse or reducing the existence of living things to zero. Today we will focus on the seas, which are considered the saltiest on the planet.
Salt record holders: top 10 saltiest seas on Earth
|Salt record holders: top 10 saltiest seas on Earth||1||White||thirty ‰|
|3||Laptev sea||34 ‰|
Salinity – 30 ‰
Closes our ten not only one of the saltiest, but also one of the smallest seas in the world. The reservoir with an area of only 90,000 m2 is part of the Arctic Ocean and is located in Russia – in the Murmansk region. This is a beautiful, but harsh land: the climate here is not the warmest and the White Sea is far from the best option for swimming. Is it only for those who like 'walrus': the average water temperature in it is about +13 0С. And this is in the summer. In winter, the temperature remains stable at minus.
By the way, despite the cold climate, the White Sea is rich in fish, including valuable commercial fish – Atlantic salmon live here. The reservoir is considered one of the smallest among the Russian ones (only the Azov one is smaller): its greatest depth is only 343 meters.
In ancient times, the reservoir was called Studeny. Both the ancient and the present name are associated, of course, with low water temperatures. In addition, for about half a year, the reservoir is completely covered with ice and snow.
Interesting fact. The Vikings called the reservoir the 'Bay of Serpents'. And not because of the inhabitants, but, oddly enough, because of its quaint coastline.
Salinity – 33 ‰
Another representative of the northern latitudes is located between Alaska and the Chukotka Peninsula. Its distinctive feature is not only a high concentration of salts in water, but also a low temperature of the latter. Throughout the year, the reservoir rarely warms up more than +13 0С, the summer rate is about +8 0С, and ice covers the sea territory, on average, 8 months a year. The sea washes the shores of only two fears – the USA and Russia, and from English its name is translated as 'the sea of the Chukchi'.
At the same time, the fauna of the Chukchi Sea is striking in its diversity: not only a huge number of fish are found here, but also a lot of mammals. For example, walruses and seals can often be seen on the coast, polar bears walk on the ice floes, and in summer there is often a real bird market. Although more than half of the reservoir's territory is occupied by shallow water, where the depth does not exceed 50 meters, its differences are impressive – from 50 to 1256 meters.
Interesting fact. Significant oil reserves have recently been discovered at the bottom of the Chukchi Sea. Experts estimate that the reservoir contains over 30 million barrels of 'black gold'. But it does not belong to Russia, but to the United States.
Salinity – 34 ‰
One of the most distant and least studied in the world. The reservoir with an area of more than 662,000 km2 is located between the Russian Novosibirsk and Severnaya Zemlya. The Laptev Sea is far from the most 'friendly': it is one of the coldest on the planet. The water temperature here rarely rises above 0 ° C and for 10 months a year it is hidden from light under a layer of ice. For this reason, shipping is poorly developed here.
A couple of dozen islands were discovered in the Laptev Sea. On the territory of some of them, the remains of mammoths are often found in excellent condition due to the harsh climate. True, due to the climate, these islands are gradually disappearing: strong winds and storms are frequent here, which intensify the process of soil erosion.
In the Laptev Sea, as in the Chukchi Sea, more than half of the territory is a sandbank with a depth of no more than 50 meters. But the deepest point of the reservoir significantly exceeds the indicator of the previous participant in the rating: the fixed mark is 3385 meters.
Interesting fact. The reservoir received its modern name in honor of the Laptev brothers – Russian polar explorers who have been studying the Arctic regions of the Earth all their lives.
Salinity – 35 ‰
This is the edge of the Arctic Ocean, washing the shores of two countries – Norway and Russia. Its area is 1.4 million km2, but the maximum depth is not so impressive – only 600 meters. The body of water plays an important role in transport and fishing. There are two large international ports in this sea – Murmansk and Vardo.
Although the Barents Sea is almost completely covered with ice during winter, tides are not uncommon. For example, near the Kola Peninsula, their height reaches 5-6 meters. The reservoir is completely located above the Arctic Circle, and its waters are renewed every 4 years. Not so long ago, the 'lovers' of clean water were brought here – Kamchatka crabs, which perfectly accepted the new environment and began to actively reproduce.
Of all the seas that wash the European shores, the Barents Sea is one of the cleanest. True, the Norwegians are “trying” to pollute it: local nuclear waste processing plants dump them in huge quantities into the water. And poachers pose significant harm to marine ecology.
Salinity – 35 ‰
The Sea of Japan seems small only on the map: in reality, its dimensions seem immense (1.06 million km2). For many centuries its expanses have been plowed by the ships of local residents who fish in the waters rich in living creatures. The reservoir is considered to be very dangerous and often behaves unpredictably: storms and hurricanes are frequent here (waves sometimes reach 12 meters). Nevertheless, shipping is very developed here and is carried out all year round, but the northern territories of the sea are covered with ice in winter.
Although the Sea of Japan is rather 'unfriendly', part of its coastline is suitable for swimming: there are several beaches on Russian territory where vacationers, albeit for a short time, can soak up the sun and plunge into the water. The sea is home to about 900 species of fish, including a dozen species of sharks, many mammals, there are scallops, crabs, algae. But there is also a more dangerous 'inhabitant': a tiny jellyfish, deadly to humans. One touch of its tentacles to the skin is enough to kill an adult.
Salinity – 38 ‰
Sung by Homer and immortalized in the ancient Roman chronicles, the Ionian Sea in ancient times became the battlefield of two of the greatest commanders. Unlike the previous participants in the rating, the Ionian Sea not only pleases with the absence of storms and cold weather, but also with excellent opportunities for comfortable swimming: the average summer temperature of the water is about + 25 ° C, the climate on the coast is very mild, and the bottom near the coast is completely sand or shell rock. In short, a tourist paradise. These are the resorts of the Ionian Sea.
It is believed that this reservoir with a rich history has been explored up and down, but, according to archaeologists, the corners hidden from human eyes still remain here. Moreover, we are talking about both coastal areas (these include Basilicata, one of the most poorly studied regions), and deep-water ones. The Ionian Sea is the deepest in the Mediterranean (max depth – 5121 meters), although it has a modest area – about 169,000 km2.
Interesting fact. In 2010, an archaeologist from Greece announced the discovery of the ruins of a palace on the famous island of Ithaca, which, judging by the description of Homer and the date of construction, can be confidently considered the palace of the legendary Odysseus.
Salinity – 38 ‰
The salt content in the Aegean Sea is so high that after swimming in it, doctors recommend taking a shower immediately under running water, otherwise the skin may become irritated. The reservoir is famous among tourists as an excellent vacation spot (both on the coast and in the open sea). The climate here is excellent – very mild subtropical. In summer, the water temperature is about + 24 + 27 0С. This is an ideal option for comfortable swimming: during the tourist season, there are a lot of people on the Aegean coast.
The reservoir is one of the oldest in the world: its age is estimated at 20,000 years. This cradle of antiquity is often mentioned in ancient mythology (Greek and Byzantine). There is a very rich underwater world here, which, unfortunately, is beginning to become scarce. The reason for this is the massive death of plankton, which is vital for the existence of most inhabitants of sea waters. This is often attributed to the 'popularity' of the Aegean with oil tankers navigating through its waters (oil spills are common here).
The most unusual inhabitant of the Aegean waters is considered the 'sea saucer' clam. He lives on rocks, and the perfectly streamlined shape allows him to withstand any impact of the waves. The Aegean waters are famous for a huge number of islands: there are more than 2000 of them. The largest and most famous among them are Rhodes, Crete, Samos, Lesvos and Efbea.
Salinity – 39.5 ‰
One of the most ancient, salty and polluted seas on the planet. Stretching between the two parts of the world, the reservoir is considered not only one of the largest in the world with an area of about 2.5 million km2, but also one of the warmest (average summer +25 0С, winter +12 0С). The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded on all sides by land, so it is not surprising that it 'contacts' the coasts of many countries.
This is a record holder among all seas, washing the shores of 22 states. The underwater and above-water world of the Mediterranean is incredibly diverse: there are about 750 species of fish alone. After the excavation of the Suez Canal, which became a 'bridge' between the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, the reservoirs exchanged flora and fauna.
Interesting fact. Not everyone calls this reservoir by his name. So, the Turks consider him White. And the ancient Romans even called the sea 'Our' and it is difficult to argue with that.
The Mediterranean Sea is mistakenly considered clean (looking at the luxurious beaches of Greece or Spain, you can't tell): it is the dirtiest of all. The factor of economic importance of the reservoir for most European countries played an important role in this: it is the most navigable in the world.
Salinity – 42 ‰
Sandwiched between the African continent and the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea is striking in its beauty and 'tranquility'. The most eminent Egyptian resorts were created on its coast, and even those who prefer not such a noisy vacation note that they cannot find a better place for diving.
The reservoir is the only one on the planet that is not 'in contact' with any river. That is why the water here is incredibly clear and, by the way, surprisingly clean (no other sea body in the world can boast of this anymore). Despite the high content of salts and alkalis, the Red Sea is a favorite habitat for over 1200 species of fish (one tenth of which live only here), even sharks, rays and dolphins.
Every day, the reservoir could become shallow by 0.5 centimeters due to the intense evaporation of water. Fortunately, this is not happening thanks to the 'donation' of the Indian Ocean. But there is one factor that cannot be changed: due to continuous tectonic activity, the distance between the sea shores is gradually increasing (every 3 years by 1 meter).
Interesting fact. At the junction of the reservoir with the Gulf of Aden, an amazing phenomenon occurs: their waters do not mix due to different density and salinity. The different colors of the water add even more contrast.
Salinity – 270 ‰
This is a real mineral health resort not only of Israel, on whose territory it is located, but of the whole world. The water level of the reservoir is at an altitude of 429 meters below sea level, which makes it the lowest area on land, and this figure decreases by about 1 meter annually. The maximum depth is only 306 meters.
Officially, a body of water is not considered a sea, since it does not have access to other bodies of water. This is a closed lake. Informally, however, it is considered to be the sea. Several large rivers flow into it at once (but none flows out). The largest of them is Jordan.
The colossally high level of salt in the water and its saturation with various microelements, in particular, bromine, makes the reservoir completely unsuitable for life (only bacteria were found here). The water of the Dead Sea is so dense that it can easily keep anyone afloat. But this does not mean that you cannot drown here: this place is the second most dangerous place in Israel for swimmers.
Interesting fact. Every day, about 7 million m3 of river water flows into the waters of the Dead Sea. But this does not affect the salinity of the reservoir at all.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.