Talk:Red Sea

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I really doubt that there are 300 sharks in the Red sea, can anyone confirm that? My guess is 50-100 max, amybe even less, but have nothin to back this up!! According to wiki there are totally 368v number of sharks and the red sea has much fewer species than the pacific ..... Stefan

Thanks for the comment Stefan - the data I have (from the reference cited) is that there are 44 species of shark in the Red Sea (which is what I think the article states?). Please see the List of Red Sea sharks - which is not exhaustive, so any further additions appreciated! Photo2222 17:25, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


Can we have a map of the Red Sea here? Oberiko 12:23, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Why would you waste your time linking those photos when there is no map... --Csnewton 20:23, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

At its widest = 190 miles? Is there a reference for this? I'm not sure putting unconfirmed information like this on the page is very responsible. Shtickless


What do the Arabic and Hebrew names mean? Bathrobe 4 April 2005

the hebrew name means "reef sea" Mandavi 01:16, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Query how the page could reasonably relate "red sea" which translates a Greek phrase, to "reed sea" which translates "yam suf" the Hebrew for the body of water crossed during the Exodus. No confusion is possible between the Greek for red and the Hebrew for reed "suf". The only way to confuse red and reed is in English. The Greek name referenced appears in Septuagint composed in the 300s BCE. English didn't exist for hundreds of years after that. Better take this part out since it shows the writer doesn't understand this.

the hebrew for "yam suf" is not "reef sea" but "Typha sea" (the plant that grows near water)

I just came back from a diving trip there and the tour guide told us the sea was called the "red sea" because from the west, if you look at the water from afar, you can see the reflection of the red mountains (of Jordan and Saudi Arabia) from the eastern bank, this had been repeated several times and is written in this page's Hebrew version on Wikipedia. anyway to check if this claim is true? 23:47, 28 August 2011 User:

Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar is the Arabic name, it literally translates to The Red Sea. --Kabahaly (talk) 18:20, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

There is also another wiki article about red sea, Erythraean Sea, with more uses of the name. I cannot edit this one because it's semi-protected. Also I see no use of having the second one (Erythraean Sea). Kvantikos afros (talk) 17:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Exodus template[edit]

Removed the exodus template from the bottom of the article. Don't think a religious track belongs in a general geographic/descriptive article. Put a link to it in the see also maybe, but the template doesn't fit. Vsmith 01:12, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, I see it's already there in Passage of the Red Sea so it is certainly is irrelevant here. Vsmith 01:44, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
The problems with removing it from here is that you can no longer follow the Exodus route as a chain. The previous site Elim refers to this page as the next one, so you can click through the route up to this point, and after it but this edit removes the continuity. I suppose it would be better to use the Passage of the Red Sea as a page in that case. I'll make the changes Codec 09:00, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Surface area[edit]

I am not sure why there are two different surface areas in the opening section. I could not find a source for the 438,000 sq km reference. I found some for the 450,000 sq km reference [1]. Therefore, unless someone can show a source for it, am I removing the 430,000 sq km part; it is a little confusing to have both. MJCdetroit 14:13, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


I doubt that Somalia has direct access to the red sea - more to the Gulf of Aden - some one shoud take it of the text and maybe even from the picture. Mandavi 01:21, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree...why is Somalia listed? --Merhawie 22:39, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
And either Eilat and Aqaba , they both belong to Gulf of Aqaba. Ammar (Talk - Don't Talk) 22:59, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, the Gulf of Aqaba is part of the Red Sea.--Doron 22:42, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Gulf of Aden is also part of Red Sea Nuvola apps important.svg  A M M A R  Nuvola apps important.svg 15:30, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
So shall we seperate them ? anyone agree ? Nuvola apps important.svg  A M M A R  Nuvola apps important.svg 15:32, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Further physical and biological considerations[edit]

I wanted to confirm that the Red Sea is a body of salt water, populated by salt water flora and fauna, but the article does not touch on this. Presumably since the Red Sea opens into the Gulf of Aden, and thence the Indian Ocean -- and more recently connects with the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal -- it is as salty as any of our oceans ... but the article doesn't say so.

(For that matter, is the Mediterranean Sea as salty as the Atlantic Ocean? After all, it is fed by many major rivers.)

Is the Red Sea a continental "crack" caused by tectonic activity, which has filled with salt water? Rather than being a major destination for rivers? But is it fed by fresh water rivers, which might or might not keep it from getting as salty?

Some of these points would be quite relevant to the recent proposals to replenish the water in the Dead Sea with water from the Red Sea. The salient (no pun intended) concern is whether the water contains similar chemicals (salt, minerals, etc.) and fauna and flora ... if not, although the water level might be restored, there would be quite an environmental impact, and this might ultimately prove to be a very bad idea.

It is definitely salty, but I do not know to what degree. There are no major rivers flowing into the Red Sea (most feed into the Nile), but I cannot say that there are none whatsoever. Either way, isn't the Dead sea saltier than the ocean (meaning the problems with salinity changes would occur either way, though I guess it's getting saltier through its evaporation and this would slow or reverse that trend).
Yom 08:23, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
The flora and fauna of the Dead Sea? There aren't many to worry about, hence the name. That sea has increased in salinity due to water diversions and suplementing it with saline water from the Red Sea would return it closer to the state it used to be. And the Red Sea is the saltiest sea there in the world. (4% NaCl compared to 8% NaCl for the Dead Sea - which has a total salinity of 30-40% counting other salts) Rmhermen 17:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Isn't Lake Assal (and some lakes in Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Danakil depression) the saltiest sea/lake in the world? I know they used to be huge, but now there's just sulfur and salt for miles on end.

Yom 19:08, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Commercial fishing?[edit]

Is their any commercial fishing is the Red Sea? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC).

Yes. Ammar (Talk - Don't Talk) 18:01, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Red Sea[edit]

In your article about The Red Sea you wrote:

“The Bible, in the book of The Exodus famously tells the story of how Moses leads the Israelites across its headwaters, (presumably the Reed Sea which has since disappeared because of the Suez Canal water diversion) to freedom, by using the powers of God to part the waters; although, there is no extant evidence to support this claim.”

If you would use the Bible as one of your would find all the evidence you need. Incidentally, this factual story is found in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus. You wrote; the book of The Exodus.

Sincerely, M. Vino

The Bible is a fine reference for many things, such as Biblical quotations, the history of the Bible itself, its role in Christianity, etc. It is not so good as a source for claiming the Biblical parting of the Red Sea actually happened. For more on wikipedia's views on using the Bible as a source in this way, see Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#The Bible. That page says in part, The Bible is a primary historical source document, and should only be used on that basis. It says X, that doesn't mean we can say that X is true, but is verifiable that the Bible says X and that fact can be included in relevant articles. other words, it is fine to say that Moses parted the Red Sea... according to the Bible in the Book of Exodus. Such a claim would be totally and verifiable. But claiming it as a fact and citing the Bible as your source is unencylopedic. So I removed your "fact" tag. If you can come up with a good reliable source -- an academic peer-reviewed article or book ideally -- that supports the claim, please feel free to add it and change the claim of "no extant evidence". Pfly (talk) 23:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Arabian gulf[edit]

ARABIAN GULF IS HERE .......... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

"Ecological disaster" reads like an editorial. Needs big-time clean-up.[edit]

I already know most of this information to be true, and I'm not challenging the accuracy of specific information in the section. Though I did find that it reads as if it were an editorial. Along with true facts about ecological disaster in the Red Sea, there is also a bunch of opinionated mumbo-jumbo in the section. Here are some quotations from the section:

"— spew filth." Filth is a synonym for dirt. We know that industrial waste and sewage are filthy... but is that the correct term to use in an encyclopedia? "filth"?

"Faeces, industrial waste, toxic components and heavy metals that make up the outflow does not go away just by being deep under water and away from public view." Feces spelled wrong. Also, do not, not does not. No idea why that line is there anyway. Sounds like preaching/informative advice/pointing out the obvious, not facts to be found in an encyclopedia. Nothing in the world "goes away" by being out of sight...

"Soon the stuff is back"' Stuff?

"Children play in this, families sit beside it and disease breeds in it." What is this, a story? So, um, you were passing by one day and saw the children and their families? You also kept in contact with them, and later discovered that they get got sick? Or is it a separate "people are there" then "oh, by the way, disease breeds in filth"?

"And very often, it stinks." Wait, what?

"That is why wild local prawns have a substantial black and swollen gut. The local fresh fish market of the Corniche is positively awash with people blissfully unaware of what they are buying and consuming." Why oh why? How did this turn into fish market story telling? We know, pollution => fish => people eat that fish => bad thing, and it was already mentioned, so why is that extra line in there? Totally irrelevant.

Just a few examples. Read it people, there's more in there. To top all of this off, there are little to no sources in the section. Forock (talk) 12:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

What type of sea is it?[edit]

Is the Red Sea a Marginal sea or is it a Mediterranean sea? It's listed on the articles for both of them, but the Marginal sea article seems to imply that a sea can only be one or the other. - Shaheenjim (talk) 03:07, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Arabian Gulf controversy[edit]

I'm going to remove, again, the following sentence: "The Red Sea was also historically known as the Arabian Gulf, until Pan-Arabist nationalists sought to impose this nomenclature to the body of water historically referred to as the Persian Gulf." This is for the following reasons:

  • Any statement which is at all contentious needs to be supported with a source, see WP:RS. The cross-reference to Persian Gulf naming dispute is not a source, since Wikipedia:Verifiability includes the sentence "Articles and posts on Wikipedia may not be used as sources."
  • Looking within the Persian Gulf article does not yield any good source in any case. Strabo and Ptolemy wrote in Greek, so can hardly have used the term Sinus Arabicus, which is Latin. They may well have used the corresponding Greek term, but we need to see an actual precise citation, together with evidence that the Red Sea is what they are referring to.
  • The maps in that article might be interesting if they were legible, but they aren't.
  • In any case, the most significant historical question of interest here is what Arabs called the Red Sea. Is there any evidence that they have ever called it anything different from Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar?
  • The Red Sea article has hitherto been calm and factual. The Persian Gulf controversy is a separate issue, which arouses strong feelings, but the Red Sea has really nothing to do with it. Wikipedia is meant to be an encyclopedia, not a political battle-ground. Any attempt to pollute non-political articles with unnecessaary polemics should be resisted. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 19:11, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting that the other wikipedia article was a source for this article. I was suggesting that the sources on the other wikipedia article are a source for this article.
If you think that the other article lacks good sources, then you should bring that up on the discussion page for the other article. In any case, I had more luck reading the maps on that article than you apparently did.
Just because we mention that a controversy exists, that isn't doing something controversial. It doesn't turn the article into a political battleground. And the sentence you deleted explains that the Persian Gulf controversy is related to the Red Sea. - Shaheenjim (talk) 19:44, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to play any part in the Persian Gulf article. It's one of those arguments which goes on for ever, and I'm involved in enough of those already.
As to the maps, if you can tell me which of them labels the Red Sea with any other name than "red sea" in any language, I'll have another try at reading it, using a picture editor if necessary.
For this article, what would certainly be interesting would be clear, sourced evidence of what other names the Red Sea has ever had, and when, in any language but particularly in Arabic.
Mention of the Persian Gulf connection is only justified if you can demonstrate that the name Arab Gulf was used for the Red Sea up to a time when Arab nationalists stopped using it so that they could transfer the name to the Persian Gulf. But so far I haven't seen any such evidence. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 21:12, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Check out: this map, this map, and this map. - Shaheenjim (talk) 23:15, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
That's very helpful, and thanks for your work. It's time to go to bed in my time zone. I'll reply tomorrow. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 00:27, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I've now done a bit of research myself, and it's getting quite interesting.

  • Herodotus refers to the "Red Sea" (Erythros Thalassos) in terms which make it quite clear that he means the Indian Ocean, including all its inlets. This raises another contentious question, since he says "the Phoenicians ... came originally from the so-called Red Sea", and people have argued as to where precisely he meant.
  • Strabo refers frequently to the "Arabian Gulf" (Arabios Kolpos), making quite clear that he mean the Red Sea. He also refers to the "Red Sea" and in at least one place to "the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf". He seems here to mean the extreme north end of the Red Sea, but I'm not sure of that.
  • The three maps you've indicated do give "Sinus Arabicus" (Arabian Gulf) for the Red Sea. I notice that the first of them, Iran e Bozorg2 (1719), also gives "Mare Erythraeum" (Red Sea) for the part of the Indian Ocean adjacent to Arabia, thus continuing Herodotus' usage. I also see that the third of them, Ortelius 1580, gives "Mar Rosso olim Sinus Arabicus", which is "Red Sea (in Spanish) formerly Arabian Gulf (in Latin)", so indicating that the "Arabian Gulf" name was considered obsolescent at that time.

I think that all this material could well go into the article, as a separate section. Meanwhile we can continue investigating. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 13:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

I readded the original comment. You can expand it later if you want. Although I rephrased the original comment to remove the implication that the name was changed from Arabian Gulf to Red Sea specifically as a result of the movement to change the Persian Gulf's name to the Arabian Gulf. - Shaheenjim (talk) 15:14, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Prehistoric size[edit]

  • Was the Red Sea as large/long as it is today hundreds of thousands of years ago? Because otherwise, humans would have had to leave Africa via the rather small bottleneck in Suez. Brutannica (talk) 06:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The Bab el Mandeb is narrow enough now, and was narrower then, for men to cross it in small boats. I have read that there are salt deposits on the bottom of the Red Sea, as if sometimes the Bab el Mandeb was closed and the Red Sea was an empty hot dry salt-floored sink, but not in the last cold bout of the Ice Age, because the Bab el Mandeb has a narrow deep channel. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 06:27, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Red Sea Name[edit]

Why is the Red Sea called the Red Sea? Please use words that a 4th grader can understand.

Thanks for your help, Student reasearch paper from Texas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Read the Name section in the article. Which words don't you understand? Bazonka (talk) 06:18, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

First European fleet[edit]

Red Sea#History says "In 1513 ... the first European fleet to have sailed this waters." But ancient Greek and Roman exploration is described earlier in that section and at Indo-Roman trade and relations. If you think it was the first European fleet without being the first Europeans, does that mean that no ancient Greek or Roman ships ever used the ancient canal from the Nile to the Red Sea? So how could the first European fleet have been in 1513? I once debated someone who wouldn't use the word "Europe" for ancient times, but the Europe#History includes antiquity without making any such distinction. Art LaPella (talk) 01:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

--==Somalia== I guess Somalia bordering Gulf of Aden not red sea, correct me please?--Prince jasim ali (talk) 12:10, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Somalia is an area that has long been associated with the Red Sea. First, as a gateway to it, and second, as one of the most frequently associated places with the ancient Land of Punt that's situated in the vicinity of the Red Sea. The area has been described as far back as the 1st century in the ancient Greek Periplus of the Erythraean Sea ("Periplus of the Red Sea"), which outlines the trade settlements and peoples in the Red Sea region at the turn of the Common Era, including present-day Somalia. For the rest, take it up with UNEP (and kindly stop removing reference to Somalia/Somalis from various pages). Middayexpress (talk) 18:44, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
FYI I studied @ school about 9 contries ,plus who said punt is somalia?? , maybe & maybe not!!,then why don't we extend a further more not include Ethiopia, or even Oman, seems you have a long history of vandal and blocks, you like long discussion & I don't bare time for this now. this is encyclopedia article about Geography not Egyptology , not you claims is somehow WP:OR, please stick to the term , bring reliable source, please--Prince jasim ali (talk) 09:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Please calm down and remember to be civil. Firstly, you don't know what those block log discussions even involved, so there's no point in attempting to cast aspersions on my edits by linking to them; c.f. WP:NPA (one of the users involved in those discussions has since been indefinitely banned, btw). Secondly, I have not been rude to you, so there's no need to lose your cool. Thirdly, it's absurd to claim as OR the fact that Somalia is often included among the Red Sea territories, when I have linked above to a source that explicitly indicates that (here's another [2]). Lastly, Somalia is among the most commonly identified geographical locations of the circum-Red Sea Land of Punt, as the sources that are already cited on the latter article show. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 10:04, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Once again !! The "context" is refering to gulf of aden , if you find another clear source, please let me know --Prince jasim ali (talk) 17:43, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that both sources linked to above are referring to the entire Red Sea region, which includes Somalia. Middayexpress (talk) 17:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
so you still don't have a good ground to stand for , this is the only version of wikipedia include Somalia as one , yet you still insist on a geographic term without any consensus , while as many users above don't agree, yo still push this one in the article , bring a neutral verifiable source that"excluding gulf of aden and include somalia", how difficult can that be !! , if what you are propagating is true ,shall be more than millions of sources out there --Prince jasim ali (talk) 04:59, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that both sources linked to above and within the article still unambiguously identify Somalia as one of the Red Sea territories. Middayexpress (talk) 10:05, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Prince Jasim Ali. It is patently absurd to state that Somalia has a Red Sea coast - just look at a map, and consider the limits of the sea as defined by the IHO (see Extent section at the top of the article). The sea's southern limit is a line from Djibouti to Yemen - north of Somalia. The cited sources are i) an article about zoology, not geography, and therefore the author's geographical knowledge is possibly inaccurate (enough doubt for this not to be a reliable source); and ii) an article that states that Somalia is one of the countries bordering the "Red Sea and Gulf of Aden", so not conclusively stating that it's on the Sea itself. That Somalia is a "gateway" to the Sea is an irrelevance, as are historical contexts - we should be talking about contemporary nations only. Bazonka (talk) 16:33, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. However, the notion of whether or not Somalia is sufficiently associated with the Red Sea to warrant mention on this article is not that cut and dry. For starters, although Somalia does not technically border the Red Sea, it does serve as a gateway to the Red Sea, which does matter for the purposes of this article on the Red Sea. It wouldn't matter had this been exclusively a list of countries that geographically border the Red Sea, but it isn't. The page is on the Red Sea area as a whole, including its history and its connection with the ancient Land of Punt (the latter of which is often associated with Somalia) and the settlements described in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea ("Periplus of the Red Sea"). Moreover, there are various definitions of just what territories constitute the so-called "Red Sea nations". There's the strictly geographical definition, which you've alluded to above. But there's also a geological definition, which includes Somalia ("The geomorphology of the coastal areas bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden is a direct result of the tectonic history in the past. The western shores from Egypt in the north to Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia in the south are quite similar to the opposite side in Saudi Arabia and Yemen." [3]). There's also a political definition of the Red Sea area, which likewise consistently includes not only Somalia, but oftentimes neighboring Ethiopia as well (which is why, among other things, Fidel Castro once "proposed the creation of a socialist confederation in the Red Sea region comprising Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and the PDRY" [4]). That said, the most logical and neutral solution to the quandry, then, would seem to be to cite the various definitions of the so-called "Red Sea nations", with the constituent territories listed therein. Middayexpress (talk) 17:10, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
This article is not about "the Red Sea area as a whole" - it is just about the sea. Yes it does mention the land of Punt, but only in reference to the first exploration of the sea. In a list of "bordering countries" it is only really logical to refer to modern-day countries. Anything else would be inconsistent with other Wikipedia articles (see Mediterranean Sea#Bordering countries, Baltic Sea#Countries, Pacific Ocean#Bordering countries and territories and Template:Countries bordering the Black Sea for example). If you want to list other countries in the "region" then, to avoid confusion, these will have to be very clearly identified as not being actually on the sea's coastline. Bazonka (talk) 19:25, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, the Red Sea's history, etymology, oceanography, geology and natural resources are all discussed in the article. At any rate, that proposal above sounds reasonable and is consistent with my own suggestion. Only the territories that are geographically located on the coastline shall be described as such. Regards, Middayexpress (talk) 19:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Finally, it's more consistence and accurate now ,as I said before you prfer long discussion instead of NPOV, next time don't accuse me of having a hidden agenda or whatsoever , what about the Category:Countries_bordering_the_Red_Sea , do you still think Somalia & Ethiopia shall exist there ?--Prince jasim ali (talk) 04:32, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the resolution was reached despite you, not because of you. It takes two willing parties to do that (something which this discussion only ever partly had). Middayexpress (talk) 08:05, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

[Outdent] According to the opening quote from the International Hydrographic Organization; the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez are all located outside of the Red Sea. If Somalia is taken off the list then I propose that Israel and Jordan must be removed as well; otherwise one must include all three (perhaps with a small note). Mesfin (talk) 11:56, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely. But I think they're still worth mentioning. I'll see what I can do. Bazonka (talk) 16:25, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Great observation. Per the above, Israel and Jordan will also have to be removed from Category:Countries bordering the Red Sea, as Somalia already has been. Otherwise, I agree with Mesfin's alternate suggestion that we include all of said territories in the list, with an explanatory note attached. Middayexpress (talk) 19:12, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
read this page above thoroughly, me, bazonka ,[5] mandavi & merhawie, 4 users disagree with you ever since this issue has arisen , and by not assuming good faith , you make it personal but it's not personal ! --Prince jasim ali (talk) 22:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Uh, that's a link to a post from four years ago... even before I joined this website, nevermind your account. Talk about grasping at straws. Middayexpress (talk) 05:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the problem is now. I thought we'd reached a sensible compromise. Bazonka (talk) 07:14, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
We indeed did. Seems like a case of the other party wanting to WP:WIN. Middayexpress (talk) 07:26, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

(Late reply to this thread, but hey) One of the problems with the IHO's definitions of seas and oceans is the lack of any kind of hierarchical arrangement, even though in common usage many seas are considered parts of larger seas and oceans. For example, the Bay of Biscay is commonly considered part of the Atlantic Ocean ([6]), but the IHO distinguishes the two. If none of the IHO's defined seas and oceans are to be considered parts of one another, then France has no coast on the Atlantic Ocean—it only has coasts on the Bay of Biscay, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Similarly, Italy has no Mediterranean Sea coast. Rather it has coasts on the Ligurian Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea, and Adriatic Sea. Another example: India has no coast on the Indian Ocean. Instead its coasts are on the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Laccadive Sea (there's a shapefile of the IHO's seas and oceans here [7], if you have a GIS viewing app). Clearly, this is absurd and not what the IHO intended with its "Limits of the Seas and Oceans". In fact, at the start of the IHO's "Limits of Oceans and Seas" document ([8]), it says: "The Limits proposed, as described [by the IHO], have been drawn up solely for the convenience of the National Hydrographic Offices when compiling their Sailing Directions, Notices to Mariners, etc. so as to ensure that all such publications headed with the name of an Ocean or Sea will deal with the same area, and they are not to be regarded as representing the result of full geographic study...These limits have no political significance whatsoever."

Anyway, my point is not to do with Somalia. It is mainly a reaction to the notion that the Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez are not part of the Red Sea. Both are commonly considered parts of the Red Sea ([9] etc). The Gulf of Aden is not, or is at best a "link" (Britannica again: [10]). Wikipedia, I think, treats the IHO's "Limits of Oceans and Seas" too much as some kind of gospel truth, and reads too much into the definitions. It is a mistake to think the IHO's seas and oceans cannot be considered parts of one another. Pfly (talk) 08:19, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

I broadly agree with you, but it is not correct to say that there are no hierarchies at all in the IHO's Limits of Oceans and Seas. The Mediterranean is split into sub-divisions (e.g. Strait of Gibraltar, Alboran Sea, etc.), as is the Baltic Sea. But yes, the oceanic marginal seas are excluded from the oceans' definitions. (Perhaps the unpublished 2000 version of the document addressed these problems; thanks to Australia's objections we may never know.) Regarding the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez, these are for most practical reasons parts of the Red Sea, but I think it is sensible to maintain a distinction between them and the Red Sea proper. Bazonka (talk) 09:52, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Heya Bazonka. I admit I'm not quite up to date on the IHO's work and that you are likely more knowledgeable than me on the topic. Perhaps there is a spectrum here, with things like the Bay of Biscany being fairly clearly little more than an "indentation" of the Atlantic Ocean, while things like the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez differ more significantly from the "Red Sea Proper". Here where I live I sometimes refer to Puget Sound as "the ocean" or "part of the Pacific Ocean"--after all it is salty, and connected, and dramatically influenced by tides washing in and out from the open ocean. But calling it the "ocean", let alone the "Pacific Ocean" seems quite a stretch. To get to the true Pacific from Seattle you have to go to the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, at least! Perhaps the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez are somewhat similar in being considered somewhat distinct from the Red Sea proper. Anyway, just to say I wrote above a bit harshly. I still think the IHO's definitions are given a bit too much weight on many pages here, but then I didn't know there was an unpublished 2000 version. I thought they hadn't redefined their "limits" since the 1950s or so. A recent sea-defining issue where I live is the Salish Sea. Puget Sound, Georgia Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca have been strictly defined by some agencies (like the USGS), but in common practice are often described differently. A telling point for me is whether Bellingham Bay is part of Puget Sound (which it is often said to be, despite the contradictory USGS definition). The recently approved name "Salish Sea" has joined all three inland waters and all their "adjoining bays and channels". I wonder whether the IHO has yet recognized this Salish Sea. Anyway, just some random comments. Nice to chat with you again! Pfly (talk) 11:12, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
In 1953, IHO included Puget Sound as part of the Coastal Waters of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. No mention of the Salish Sea. The 2000 document may well have redefined it, but this hasn't been ratified or published due to objections raised by Australia regarding the definition of Southern Ocean. It's quite likely that a lot more was fixed and updated, but unfortunately the new definitions are unavailable, unofficial and so unusable. Anyway, we're getting slightly off topic here... Regards, Bazonka (talk) 11:47, 29 August 2011 (UTC).

Israel and Jordan are both bordering the Red Sea. Here is a quote from The Gulf of Aqaba page on Wikipedia: "The Gulf of Aqaba or Gulf of Eilat (Arabic: خليج العقبة‎, transliterated: Khalyj al-'Aqabah; Hebrew: מפרץ אילת‎, transliterated: Mifratz Eilat) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea". Also on the page Israel it says that Israel borders "Egypt and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south" In addition - according to Wikipedia this is the definition of gulf: "Gulf, a large bay that is an arm of an ocean or sea" - just the way arm is considered to be part of a body, a gulf is considered to be part of a sea or an ocean. Therefore both the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez can be considered part of the red sea.--Abtalion (talk) 15:20, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Volcanic Islands[edit]

A new volcanic island has appeared in the Red Sea recently. I believe it is worth noting in the article, but because of the protected state I can't make an anonymous edit.

Maybe someday I'll actually register for an account, but probably not today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:38, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure if we need much of an entry on this, as the region's geological, volcanic instability is already mentioned in the article, and this eruption seems the most recent example of many: note that your link (much appreciated, by the way) tells that "Many times the islands are ephemeral as they are usually made of loose volcanic debris, so they get destroyed by wave action quite quickly..." I'll pop the link into the relevant section; on the island itself, perhaps we'd best wait and see if it stays put. Haploidavey (talk) 15:51, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 January 2012[edit]

Please Remove (alternatively Arabian Gulf or Gulf of Arabia) in the beginning sentence. This statement at the beginning is innacurate: "The Red Sea (alternatively Arabian Gulf[1] or Gulf of Arabia[2][3]." The Red Sea is on the West and separates Arabia from Africa (true); The Arabian Gulf or Gulf of Arabia also known as the Persian Gulf is on the East and separates Arabia from Iran and the huge Asian Continent and are NOT alternate names for the Red Sea. See a map and you'll see the Arabian Gulf on the East of the peninsula while the Red Sea is on the West. (talk) 06:28, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done, unclear what you're requesting--Jac16888 Talk 17:30, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Arabian Gulf?[edit]

The Red Sea is never, and was never, called any type of gulf, let alone the Arabian Gulf. The Arabian Gulf is what the Arab nations call the Persian Gulf.

I suggest removing the Arabian Gulf reference from here if Wikipedia wishes to maintain any credibility it might have left. -- (talk) 20:48, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

There is a source in the article for that name. WP:VNT. Bazonka (talk) 21:01, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Wind direction incorrect[edit]

i'm anon user so can't edit (congratulations to the exclusionists and the tyrannical new system), anyways, under the section titled "wind regime", it says: "the northern part of the Red Sea, which is dominated by persistent north-west winds" - this is so incorrect, the persistent winds in the north always come from north-east. (talk) 13:41, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Towns and cities on the Red Sea coast[edit]

the list provided on this included every major coastal town of each country except the Somali town of Berbera which is a port town on the red sea cost. I wonder whether this section of the sea is considered to be past of re sea as this is what i have been taught at school. maxman 13:34, 4 April 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maxman (talkcontribs)

Seems it is on the Gulf of Aden coast per the Berbera article. Vsmith (talk) 13:57, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

What's the point of "Muhammad's era" section in the Red Sea article ?[edit]

I fail to see the relevance of " Muhammad's era" section and the Muslims battles against Meccans to the Red Sea? These battles were not naval expeditions and have nothing whatsoever to do with the red sea! Is the writer just an anti-Muslim who like to spew hateful agenda and shove it down our throats in every article about that region? I recommend removing this section . — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alfor1234 (talkcontribs) 15:15, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't necessarily agree with you about the writer's motivation, but I do agree that this section isn't necessary. It's not about the sea. Removed. Bazonka (talk) 18:57, 7 December 2014 (UTC)


Red Sea#Current says "the north-northeast current along the Saudi coast". But a Red Sea current flowing along the Saudi coast would neither come from the north-northeast nor flow towards the north-northeast (see map), except in the Gulf of Aqaba. You probably meant north-northwest not north-northeast, although south-southeast is a possibility. Art LaPella (talk) 00:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Israel not on the sea[edit]

So according to the article israel is not one of the countries that board the red sea. There are six listed with flags, bot no Israel — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:32, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

See Gulf of Aqaba which is part of the Red Sea. Vsmith (talk) 02:04, 3 January 2017 (UTC)