The Caribbean Sea is not only one of the most beautiful seas on our planet, with a long history and a unique underwater world. But also the most dangerous place in the Atlantic Ocean with a deceptive climate that brings death and destruction.
11 interesting facts about the Caribbean
- Local tribes have a legend about the formation of the sea: In ancient times, a man named Giaya lived on the island with his son. While hunting, Guia accidentally killed the young man. In memory of his beloved boy, the father hung a vessel with his remains in his hut. Over time, the bones turned into beautiful fish. During the feast, the guests overturned the vessel and water with fish flowed out of it. And so the sea appeared.
- It owes its name to the dominant Caribbean Native American group in the Caribbean. The Europeans learned about the existence of the reservoir thanks to the discovery of the Spanish navigator Christopher Columbus in 1492. After Spanish colonization, the sea became known as the Antilles. This name is still used in some European sources, as an alternative to the name "Caribbean".
- The Cayman Basin is the deepest underwater volcanic rift in the world. At its bottom are the deepest hydrothermal springs. The so-called "black smokers". The area of the Caribbean Sea is 2, 754, 000 km2 or 1, 063, 000 square miles. The average depth of the reservoir is 2, 491 m, the maximum depth is 7, 686 m (between Cuba and Jamaica). The volume of water is 7, 000, 000 km3.
- The bottom is formed by calcareous foraminiferal silt deposits. In the southwest there are low-manganese, calcareous silts. In shallow waters there are numerous reefs with coral deposits. There are over 700 islands in the Caribbean. But only 2% of them are inhabited. B
- In 1972, the Great Blue Hole was discovered near the Yucotan Peninsula by the French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Which is a round funnel with a diameter of 305 meters and a depth of 120 meters. It is also the largest karst pit on the planet. Included by UNESCO in the World Heritage List.
- The sea makes a strange whistling sound. Its frequency is not audible to the human ear. But it is so strong that it changes the earth's gravitational field. It was possible to fix it from space. The phenomenon is cyclical, repeats after 120 days. Each cycle changes the water level of the coast of Colombia and Venezuela by 10 cm. Oceanologists called this phenomenon the "Rosby Whistle".
- Climatic features The climate of the Caribbean is tropical. Formed under the influence of trade wind circulation. The current is strong - 26, 000, 000 m3 / s. East and north-east directions. Beyond the Gulf of Mexico it passes into the Gulf Stream. It's warm in the Caribbean all year round. The average air temperature in winter ranges from 21-25 ° C, in summer - about 30 ° C. The water temperature in the cold period is 23-25 ° C, in the summer - up to 29 ° C.
- Due to the movement of tectonic plates up to 2 cm per year, the Caribbean is called a seismically active zone. That is why underwater earthquakes happen here. Which give rise to the strongest hurricanes. The wind speed of a tropical hurricane reaches 120 km / h. They can last up to 6 days. Up to 12 such natural disasters occur per year. The record for the number of hurricanes, 19 cases each, were 1933 and 1995. The most deadly in the history of the Caribbean is considered the "Great Hurricane" of 1780. More than 27, 5 thousand people died. Most of the destruction was caused by hurricanes Ivan 2004, Galveston 1900, Katrina 2005, Jeanne 2004, Mitch 1998, Gilbert 1988 and Jenny 2004. The 2010 earthquake destroyed the city of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. 200, 000 people died, 300, 000 were wounded.
- The flora of the tropics is represented by 7 species of algae. Among which are tortoiseshell, cymodocea, sea ruppia, as well as chlorophylls. Whole fields of sea grasses can be observed in the lagoons. Since 2011, an active growth of algae has been recorded. Which by the summer of 2015 took on a catastrophic scale. If at the Yukotan Peninsula, some of the beaches were closed due to turbidity of the water and the smell of rot. That on the coast of Cuba during the summer period more than 60 people suffered. The reason for this was the rapid spread of toxic species of algae.
- The animal world is much more interesting. The Caribbean Sea is home to up to 500 species of fish, up to 100 species of mammals and more than half a thousand reptiles. The main predators are gray sharks: silk, reef, and bull sharks. Tiger sharks can be seen near the coast. In addition, long-finned, hammerheads, blue and whales are found. The latter are the largest. The most dangerous of the sharks - white in the Caribbean Sea is extremely rare.
- A surprising fact happened to Christopher Columbus. Sailing along the water surface near the Cayman Islands, the ships came across an unimaginable herd of green turtles, blocking their path. Admiring what he saw, Columbus named the group of islands "Las Tortugas". Which means "turtles" in Spanish.