The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The water is not red, as the name may imply.
Occupying a part of the Great Rift Valley, the Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km² (169,100 square miles). It is about 2250 km (1398 miles) long and, at its widest point, is 355 km (220.6 miles) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 metres (7254 feet) in the central median trench, and an average depth of 490 metres (1,608 feet). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea. (Read more...)