Mediterranean Sea - an intercontinental sea lying between Europe, Africa and Asia, with an area of about 2.5 million km². The salinity of the Mediterranean Sea is 33–39 ‰.
In the west it is connected by the Strait of Gibraltar with the Atlantic Ocean, in the east through the Dardanelles it is connected with the Sea of Marmara and further through the Bosphorus Strait with the Black Sea, and through the Suez Canal with the Red Sea and further with the Indian Ocean.
This inland sea is the only one in the world that is surrounded by lands that belong to three parts of the world. Even thousands of years ago, culture and science flourished here, agriculture, crafts, trade and shipping developed. The area has rich remnants of old civilizations - individual monuments and entire cities. The common feature of these countries, apart from access to the sea, is the Mediterranean climate and vegetation.
The following countries and dependent territories (clockwise) lie on the Mediterranean Sea: Gibraltar, Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus (including Northern Cyprus and Akrotiri and Dhekelia), Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel (including the Gaza Strip), Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Most of the Mediterranean countries cooperate within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
The fauna of the Mediterranean Sea has approximately 5,000 species.
The term "Mediterranean" comes from the Latin word mediterraneus meaning "in the center of the earth" or "between the lands" (medius - 'between', 'in the middle' + terra 'earth', 'land'), as it is situated between continents of Africa and Europe. The Greek name Mesogeios (Μεσόγειος) is similar - μέσο, "center" + γη, "land", "land". In historical times, the Mediterranean Sea had several names, e.g. the Greeks originally called them ἡ θάλασσα (hē thálassa; "Sea" without adjective) or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα (hē megálē thálassa; "Great Sea"), σἡ ἡμέτα hēmαtera θάēá hēmαtera θάēá ; "Our Sea"), η εντός θάλασσα (he entos thálassa; "Inner Sea") or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς (hē thálassa hē kath'hēmâs; "the sea around us"). The Romans commonly called them Mare Nostrum (Latin "Our Sea"), Mare Magnum ("Great Sea") or Mare Internum ("Inner Sea"). In the Bible it was originally known as "The Great Sea" [Nu 1, 4, 9, 1, Ez 47, 10, 15, 20] or simply "The Sea" [1 Kings 5: 9, 1Mch 14 , 34, 15,11], but also known as the "Hinder Sea" because of its location on the western shore of the Holy Land and therefore behind a person looking eastward, as referred to in the Old Testament, sometimes translated as "Western The sea ”[Dt 11:24, Joel 2:20]. Another name was "Sea of the Philistines" (Ex 23:31) because of the people who inhabited a large part of the coast near the Israelites. In modern Hebrew it was called Ha-Yam Ha-Tikhon (הַיָּם הַתִּיכוֹן) - "Middle Sea", the literal translation of the German equivalent of Mittelmeer. In Turkish it is known as Akdeniz - "White Sea", in Arabic - l-Baḥr al-Abyaḍ al-Mutawassiṭ (البحر الأبيض المتوسط), which we can understand as "Central White Sea", while in Islamic and ancient Arabic literature it was mentioned as Baḥr al-Rūm (بحر الروم), or "Roman / Byzantine Sea".
The division of the Mediterranean Sea according to the International Hydrographic Office in Monaco:
Western Basin (Algerian-Provencal):
The Alboran Sea (area 53,000 km²) east of the Strait of Gibraltar,
Balearic Sea (area 86 thousand km²) also known as Iberian to the north and north-west