Baltic Sea

Article

July 6, 2022

The Baltic Sea is a side sea of ​​the Atlantic Ocean in Northern Europe between Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. It is the second largest brackish water basin in the world after the Black Sea. The Baltic Sea is separated from the North Sea by the Kattegat Strait between Sweden and Denmark. The Baltic Sea is a special sea because of its low salinity, weak tides, and its location on the continental plate and the resulting shallowness. The average depth of the Baltic Sea is 54 meters and the deepest point is 459 meters. The surface area of ​​the sea is approximately 392,000 square kilometers. 4,000–6,000 years ago, the Danish straits were deeper and wider than they are today, and then the salinity of the Baltic Sea was eight times higher than it is today. That maritime period is called the Littoral Sea period.

Name

The Finnish name of the Baltic Sea is probably a translation loan from the Swedish name of the sea, Östersjön, and the Danish Østersøen and the Dutch Oostzee also mean the same - when viewed from the area of ​​these languages, the sea is in the east. The German name of the sea is also Ostsee. In terms of the Finnish language, the name is kind of misleading, because the Baltic Sea is located on the west and south side of the Finnish language area. The Estonian name for the sea is Läänemeri ("Western Sea"). In other languages ​​of the Baltic Sea region, as well as in languages ​​spoken further away, the Baltic Sea is also known more uniquely as the "Baltic Sea" (Ven. Балтийское море, Baltijskoje more, Polish Morze Bałtyckie, Lithuanian Baltijos jūra and Latvian Baltijas jūra, as well as English Baltic Sea and French . Mer Baltique), with the exception of Austersjøen in New Norwegian and Eystrasalt (Baltic Sea) in Icelandic. In Finland, the name Baltic Sea has caused a debate about the correctness of the name and its change, all the way up to the parliament (e.g. budget initiatives TAA 1037/2009 and TAA 1068/2010). Part of the background is the idea of ​​misleading when the sea is in the west, southwest and south when looking from Finland; partially incorrect assumption about the ballast related to the Swedish dominion. Although in Sweden today the name is Östersjön, in the 15th century it was also known as Saltsjön (Finnish salt lake). In Finland, before the establishment of the name Baltic Sea, in the middle of the 19th century, the name German Sea was also used for the sea. However, the newspapers tried to use the same name only for the North Sea. From the point of view of seafarers and Danish-Dutch cartographers, the sea was located in the east, i.e. it was the sea route to the east (Mare Orientale). Their speeches and maps have contributed to the establishment of the name in German and Swedish. Since several names were used for the Baltic Sea in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was difficult for printed maps. In 1638, Admiral Erik Ottesen Orning was commissioned by the Danish government to determine the correct name of the sea. The admiral interviewed seafarers and experts, who confirmed the name as Itämeri. The oldest known name is the lat. used in the first century. Sinus Codanus (Sinusbay, CodanusCodanovia i.e. Scatinavia, i.e. Scandinavia). The names Suebicum mare ("Sea of ​​the Suevi"), Oceanus Germanicus or Mare Germanicum ("Germanic Sea"), Mare Barbarum and Pelagus Sciticum ("Barbarian Sea" or "Gulf of the Scythians", referring to the Estonians) have also been used for the sea or its parts. Over the years, the names have fluctuated, as for example Mare Germanicum is more common as the name of the North Sea. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the name of the sea on maps, for example, in different versions, is Mare Gotticum, which refers to either Gotland or the Goths. The basis of the names has been the location, the beach or the peoples who lived in the area (Venedicus sinus l. "Gulf of Vendien"). i.e. Eastern Sea), Läänemeri or Läne-merri (Northern Sea), Rootsi Merri (Swedish Sea) and Pal