What Is the Fact Behind Red Sea’s Name?
The Red Sea got its name because its surface sometimes has a reddish tinge. This color comes from a free-floating type of algae, or water plant, called Trichodesmium erythraeum. The algae are normally blue-green in color but have an additional red pigment that sometimes becomes dominant and dyes the sea red.
The Red Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms – the others being the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea. The direct rendition of the Greek Erythra thalassa in Latin as Mare Erythraeum refers to the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, and also to a region on Mars.
A theory favoured by
some modern scholars is that the name red is referring to the
direction south, just as the Black Sea’s name may refer to north. The
basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used colour words to refer
to the cardinal directions. Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea
and Southern Sea interchangeably.
This sea is a narrow strip of water about 1,200 miles long. It varies in width from about 250 miles in the south to 130 miles in the north, where it divides into two parts, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Extending south—south-east from Suez to the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea separates Saudi Arabia and the Yemen from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.
The sea is known for its recreational diving sites, such as Ras Mohammed, SS Thistlegorm (shipwreck), Elphinstone Reef, The Brothers, Daedalus Reef, St.John’s Reef, Rocky Island in Egypt and less known sites in Sudan such as Sanganeb, Abington, Angarosh and Shaab Rumi.