Sargasso Sea

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An image of the distribution and size of eel larvae shows the approximate location of the Sargasso Sea.
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An image of the distribution and size of eel larvae shows the approximate location of the Sargasso Sea.

The Sargasso Sea is a region in the Atlantic Ocean.

The sea is an elongated region in the middle of the North Atlantic, and is surrounded by ocean currents. On the west it is bounded by the Gulf Stream; on the north, it is bounded by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, it is bounded by the Canary Current; and on the south, it is bounded by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current. It is, very roughly, 1,125 km wide and 3,220 km long (700 miles wide and 2,000 miles long). It stretches from roughly 70 degrees west to 40 degrees west, and from 25 degrees north to 35 degrees north. Bermuda is located near the western fringes of the sea.

The Sargasso Sea, which is very salty, is often regarded as being lifeless, though it is home to some seaweed of the genus Sargassum. This seaweed floats en masse on the surface there. The Sargasso Sea also plays a major role in the migration of the European eel; the larvae of the eel hatch there and go to Europe. Later in life, they try to return to the Sargasso to lay eggs there.

Christopher Columbus and his men noted the Sargasso Sea. They brought reports of the large amount of seaweed on the surface. The Carthaginian admiral Himilco had earlier made similar reports after sailing through the Pillars of Hercules: "Many seaweeds grow in the troughs between the waves, which slow the ship like bushes {...} Here the beasts of the sea move slowly hither and thither, and great monsters swim languidly among the sluggishly creeping ships" (Rufus Festus Avienus)

See also: Eel storycs:Sargasové moře de:Sargassosee et:Sargasso meri

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