October 19, 2021
The Black Sea, originally called Ponto Euxino, is an inland sea located between Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus, connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean and Aegean seas and by several straits. The Bosphorus connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the Strait of Dardanelles connects it to the Aegean region. These waters separate Eastern Europe from Western Asia. The Black Sea also links the Sea of Azov to the Kerch Strait. The Black Sea has an area of 436 400 square kilometers, a maximum depth of 2 206 meters, and a volume of 547 000 cubic kilometers. It forms in an elliptical depression of east-west orientation, located between Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, and is bordered by the Pontic Mountains to the south and the Caucasus to the east. Its longest east-west extension is about 1 175 km. The origin of the Black Sea is the subject of debate among many experts. There are indications that it has experienced setbacks and advances throughout the geological ages, particularly in more recent times during the Ice Age. There is a theory about a Black Sea Flood, which may be the origin of beliefs about a divine flood and the dispersion of Indo-Europeans in the region. The Black Sea has a positive water balance, which results in a flow 300 km³ of water per year through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, part of the Mediterranean. Mediterranean waters flow into the Black Sea as part of a two-way water shift; Black Sea water is cooler and less salty and therefore floats on the warmer, saltier waters that come from the Mediterranean. The Black Sea also receives fresh water from the diverse river systems of Eurasia situated to its north, of which the Don, Dnieper and Danube are the most significant. The name "Black Sea" is due to its presence of large amount of mineral salts that give a dark color. It was known by the Greeks as Ponto Euxino, and by the Turks and Turkmens as Karadeniz.