The Black Sea is the largest body of water in the world. The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean Sea, forming a large brackish water body and the world’s largest sea. The sea is located between Europe and Asia. It is bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria on the north; Georgia and Turkey to the east; and Moldova, Ukraine and Russia to the south. The Black Sea is part of the water system that covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface. It is one of five major global bodies of water, along with the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arctic Ocean. The sea has a surface area of approximately 386,000 km2 and a maximum depth of 1,050 m. Meanwhile, its water volume is approximately 50,000 km3 which is only 1.1% less than that of the Mediterranean Sea.
Besides its impressive geographical facts, there are a lot of amazing black sea facts that you may never know. So, we will reveal some of them one by one. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the Black sea in this article that will surprise you. What are you waiting for? Let’s jump to the list!
1. The Largest Body with Meromictic Basin
The Black Sea happens to be the largest water body with a meromictic basin, which means the movement of water between the lower and upper layers of the sea is a rare phenomenon to find anywhere in the world. A body of water with a surface size of roughly 508,000 km2 and a maximum depth of 2,245 m, characterized by layers of water of varying densities. Because there is minimal movement in the water, these stratified fluids do not mingle.
The Black Sea’s 10% top layer contains oxygen and 17.5 g of salt per liter. Meanwhile, the remaining 90% is devoid of oxygen and has a salinity of 22.5 g per liter. Toxic hydrogen sulfide is trapped in the lower layer and might kill thousands of people if released by an earthquake.
2. It Used To Be Fresh Water
According to a number of marine geologists, the Black Sea was once a freshwater lake before salt water from the Mediterranean Sea entered the lake some 7,000 years ago. The Black Sea flowed into a chain of sea lakes early in the Miocene Epoch approximately 20 million years ago, but it progressively became separated from the Caspian region. Outwash sediments filled the basin when the Pontic, Caucasus, Crimean, and Carpathians rose around it.
Following that, other earth movements and variations in sea level caused by Pleistocene glaciers occurred, resulting in sporadic contacts with the Mediterranean. Strong earthquakes, such as the 1927 Crimean earthquake, are still a part of the region’s history.
3. Home of Small Islands In Different Countries
The Black Sea contains only a few small islands. The largest being Zmiinyi of Ukraine, east of the Danube delta, and Berezan at the mouth of the Dniester River estuary. The fact that the Black Sea is home to ten small islands adds to its allure. The Dzharylgach, Snake, and St. Anastasia islands are among the most important of them.
Surprisingly, these islands are spread throughout several countries. For example, St. Anastasia Island is in Bulgaria, but Dzharylgach is in Ukraine. Moreover, Berezan and Giresun are in Turkey, while Sacalin and Snake are in Rumania.
4. High Concentration of Hydrogen Sulfide Layer
The Black Sea is the largest body of water in the world that contains hydrogen sulfide. The presence of a hydrogen-sulfide layer in the Black Sea is due to its isolation from the open ocean. This is because the sea is stratified, with a deep influx of salty Mediterranean Sea water and a shallow inflow of river water, and the sea cannot even be mixed by wind.
Furthermore, at the lowest layers of the Black Sea, a huge quantity of hydrogen sulfide, an exceedingly deadly gas, remains dormant. The number increases when decomposable organic matter sinking from the upper euphotic zone or introduced by rivers pouring into the sea consumes more oxygen than the oxygen supply to deep waters.
5. Why Black Sea was Called Black Sea?
Did you know that Black Sea got its name from Cardinal direction? According to the symbolic scheme or cardinal directions, this sea is called “Black Sea” because it is located in the Northern portion of Turkey. Some researchers believe the term comes from a color symbolism scheme that represents the cardinal directions, with black or dark representing north, red representing south, white representing west, and green or light blue indicating east. As a result, “Black Sea” came to mean “Northern Sea.”
In addition, the sea seemed black to sailors due to violent winter storms. Due to the high concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the sea, metal objects from ships, dead plants, and animal stuff that sank deeper than 150 meters over an extended period of time became covered in a black sludge as well.
6. The High Mineral Cause Objects Float
The Black Sea used to be part of the same ocean, but it has a considerably smaller input than it loses through evaporation, hence it has a much higher salinity than the ocean. Normally, the objects float in the water due to their peculiar characteristics, which include a high quantity of minerals and salt.
In fact, the Black Sea experiences water transfer only with the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, the Bosporus and Dardanelles handle all inflow and outflow. The inflow from the Mediterranean is saltier and denser than the outflow, resulting in higher salinity that causes objects to float.
7. Black Sea Is Supplied by Major Rivers from Six Countries
Ukraine to the north, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west all share a Black Sea border. The Danube, Dnieper, and Don rivers are the main sources of water for the Black Sea. As a result, while only six nations have a seacoast, the drainage basin encompasses parts of 24 European countries.
Since the Black Sea has become a border for numerous EU nations, the EU has bolstered regional cooperation with and among the Black Sea’s neighbors. The Bucharest Ministerial Statement of 2016 and the Sofia declaration of 2018 emphasized a collaborative approach to addressing Black Sea fisheries concerns. The Bucharest ministerial declaration on the common marine agenda for the Black Sea was endorsed by Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine in 2019.
8. The Largest Natural Dead Zone In The World
Low-oxygen, or hypoxic, areas in the world’s oceans and lakes are known as dead zones. Few creatures can survive in hypoxic circumstances since they require oxygen to live. The major culprits are nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural runoff, although sewage, vehicle and industrial pollution, and even natural factors all contribute to the establishment of dead zones.
In fact, not all dead zones are caused by pollution. The world’s largest dead zone occurs naturally in the Black Sea’s lower reaches. When the water from the Black Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea as it flows through the Bosporus Strait, a dead zone forms. Only in the upper reaches of the sea, where the waters of the Black Sea combine with those of the Mediterranean Sea, which flows via the narrow Bosporus strait, is oxygenated water found.
9. Dolphins are The Only Whales in Black Sea
The only whales found in the Black Sea are dolphins. In comparison to their relatives such as the sperm whale and orca, they are little toothed whales. In fact, they are also the largest marine animals in the Black Sea at the same moment.
In the Black Sea’s nearshore waters, the bottlenose dolphin is the most prevalent species. They must rise to the surface to breathe, and the used air typically produces an expelling sound. Dolphins usually dive for one to three minutes, although they can stay below for up to ten minutes and dive hundreds of meters.
10. Beluga, The Largest Fish in Black Sea
In the Black Sea, there are seven kinds of sturgeon, the largest of which is the beluga. Belugas can grow to be more than 4 meters long and 1.5 tonnes in weight, with a lifespan of more than 100 years. It is the third-largest living bony fish species in terms of maximum size. The world’s largest record was 3,463 pounds and 23 feet 7 inches long!
The sturgeon fish is one of the Black Sea’s most important endemic species, as well as one of its largest inhabitants. The progenitors of this group lived more than 200 million years ago, when ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, along with species very similar to present sturgeon fish, frequented the ancient Tethys Sea, from which the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Caspian Sea sprang. The future Black Sea was a form of highly desalinated lake, separated from the ocean and akin to the existing Caspian Sea, when this group reached its pinnacle.
11. Surfing In The Black Sea
Black Sea is an ideal place for surfing. Just west of Istanbul is one of the best sites to surf the Black Sea waves. Because of the more than 600-mile-long shoreline that produces some tremendous waves, the Black Sea coast around Rumeli Feneri is one of the best spots to go surfing. In autumn, you will get constant swell and 3 meter high waves with an offshore wind.
Because the water in the Black Sea is chilly and semi-fresh, it has a low buoyancy. The majority of the waves formed in the Black Sea are caused by short-period wind swells, however this does not imply that the waves are of poor quality. They are slightly less powerful than oceanic waves caused by large ground swells, making them ideal for beginners and intermediates.
12. Turkish Straits are The Only Way to The Black Sea
The Bosporus straits, also known as the Turkish Straits, connect the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea via the Sea of Marmara. It is the only passage through which Black Sea ports can access the Mediterranean and beyond.
In addition, the Turkish Straits are just as crucial to the Black Sea riparian states’ economic and military security as they are to Turkey. Turkey straits have played a major role in world trade for centuries. They serve as major trade corridors connecting Black Sea riparian countries to global markets.
13. Black Sea is Contaminated with Plastic
Each of the rivers that drain into the Black Sea deposits between 6 and 50 pieces of garbage every hour. Plastic makes up over 85% of the garbage found in the Black Sea. Plastic bottles account for roughly 20% of the litter carried into the Black Sea from rivers, while plastic bags and containers, two other major polluters, account for 10% and 9% of the litter, respectively. Furthermore, plastic bottle caps, wrappers, bottles, and straws make up 14 percent of the waste that contaminates the Black Sea coastline.
These findings come from marine litter monitoring conducted with the help of EMBLAS initiative. Two mobile apps developed by the European Union’s Joint Research Center and the European Environment Agency were used to count the rubbish found floating in the water and on beaches.
14. Odysseus Found In The Bottom of Black Sea
The discovery of the ancient Greek shipwreck “Odysseus” at the bottom of the Black Sea, estimated to be the earliest of its sort ever discovered, could revolutionize our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world. The mast, rudders, and rowing benches of the 75-foot antique Greek commercial vessel were discovered intact after more than 2,400 years in 2018. A remote-controlled submersible discovered the 23-meter merchant vessel resting on its side.
The Odysseus wreckage was discovered in the Black Sea’s well-known “shipwreck graveyard,” which has already exposed other ships. The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project has been investigating the Black Sea’s seabed. In fact, geophysical surveys are the main focus, although 67 old shipwrecks have also been discovered.
15. There are 20 Russian Navy Vessels in The Black Sea
The Black Sea Fleet is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea. Six submarines of the “Varshavianka” class make up the Russian Black Sea Fleet are B-261 Novorossiysk, B-237 Rostov-na-Donu, B-262 Stary Oskol, B-265 Krasnodar, B-268 Veliky Novgorod, and B-271 Kolpino.
According to the ministry, about 20 Russian Navy warships, including submarines, are in the Black Sea operational zone. However, Ukrainian missiles have limited its ability to organize a naval offensive or land troops. A pair of Neptune missiles struck the Moskva, a cruiser that was one of the Russian navy’s crown jewels, on April 14th. Russia is unable to replace its lost cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea since the Bosphorus Strait remains closed to all non-Turkish warships.