Interesting, Unknown, Obscure, and Enjoyable #2: The Sargasso Sea

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Location

The Sargasso Sea is the only “sea” without land boundaries.  It is located in the Atlantic and is bounded by four currents called gyres.  A gyre is a large system of circulating ocean currents, mostly those that involve wind.  The four currents bounding the Sargasso Sea are the Gulf Stream (West), the North Atlantic Current (North), the Canary Current (East), and the North Atlantic Equatorial Current (South).  These four currents make up the North Atlantic Gyre.

Sargasso Sea

Name Origin

The Sargasso Sea gets it’s name from a seaweed called Sargassum.  Sargassum is brown, and generally inhabits shallow water and coral reefs.

Close up photo of Sargassum

Sargassum’s name founding was when Portuguese sailors first found it in the Sargasso Sea.  They named it after the wooly rock rose, that grew in their water wells at home, and that was called sargasco.  The Portuguese also called the Sargasso Sea the “sea of grapes”, because of the sargassum’s pods looked like grapes.  The sargassum, along with its deep blue color are what makes the Sargasso Sea distinctive.

History

The first known written account of the Sargasso Sea was from Christopher Columbus in 1492, who feared the seaweed would trap his ship and hide the waters around them.  Other accounts before Columbus’s have been reported, but none of them are confirmed.

The Sargasso Sea also contains most of the Bermuda Triangle, including the island of Bermuda.  The legend of the Bermuda Triangle may have something to do with the sea’s still waters, becalming most ships.

Bermuda Triangle

Animals

The Sargasso Sea plays a role in the migration of certain eels, like the American Eel, European Eel, and American Conger Eel.

American Eel

The eels hatch in the Sargasso Sea, and as they grow they travel back to Europe or the east coast of North America.  Later in life, they travel back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.  It is also believed that the Loggerhead Sea turtles use currents like the Gulf Stream to travel to the Sargasso Sea to live hiding in the sargassum until they mature.  The sargassum fish is another species specially adapted to blend in among the sargassum.

Thank you for reading my blog on the Sargasso Sea, and I hope you learned something!

My sources include the Wikipedia pages on Gyres, Sargassum, and the Sargasso Sea.  I also used a few paragraphs from the short book A Sea Within a Sea: Secrets of the Sargasso.

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Level 65
Oct 8, 2021
Interesting!
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Level 59
Oct 8, 2021
Thank you!
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Level 55
Oct 8, 2021
I've seen sargassum before while in the Florida Keys, and it is really cool I'm not going to lie. It is actually really satisfying when you touch it. Nice blog though, I like the facts.
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Level 59
Oct 8, 2021
Thank you for the kind words. :-)
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Level 39
Oct 9, 2021
All about...
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Level 59
Oct 9, 2021
Are you ok with that? I had considered that you might get offended, but I couldn’t think of anything better.
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Level 39
Oct 9, 2021
Im totaly fine with that! When I came up with the title, I couldnt come up with anything better lol!