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Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranee 02 EN.jpg
Map of the Mediterranean Sea
Coordinates 35°N 18°E / 35°N 18°E / 35; 18Coordinates: 35°N 18°E / 35°N 18°E / 35; 18
Type Sea
Primary inflows Atlantic, Sea of Marmara, Nile, Ebro, Rhône, Chelif, Po
Basin countries
Surface area 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi)
Average depth 1,500 m (4,900 ft)
Max. depth 5,267 m (17,280 ft)
Water volume 3,750,000 km3 (900,000 cu mi)
Residence time 80-100 years
Islands 3300+
Settlements Alexandria, Algiers, Athens, Barcelona, Beirut, Carthage, Dubrovnik, İzmir, Rome, Split, Tangier, Tel Aviv, Tripoli, Tunis (full list)

The Mediterranean Sea (pronounced /ˌmɛdɪtəˈrniən ˈs/) is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a separate body of water.

The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of land" (from medius, "middle" and terra, "land"). It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2 (965,000 sq mi), but its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.

The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa. It is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is approximately 4,000 km (2,500 miles). The sea's average north-south length, from Croatia’s southern shore to Libya, is approximately 800 km (500 miles). The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara (connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea), has a surface area of approximately 2,510,000 square km (970,000 square miles).


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