IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


26th April, 2024 Geography


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/30/six-iranians-cross-english-channel-in-inflatable-boat-from-france

Context: The deaths of migrants during their attempt to cross the English Channel highlight the dangerous conditions faced by asylum seekers seeking refuge in the UK.

About English Channel

  • The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean separating southern England from northern France. It links to the North Sea via the Strait of Dover.
  • It is around 560 km long and varies from 240 km at its widest to just 34 km at the Strait of Dover. It has an area of about 75,000 sq km.
  • It was formed relatively recently after the last glacial period ended around 10,000 years ago, separating Britain from continental Europe as sea levels rose.
  • The Channel has had various names over history including the British Sea, the Gaulish/British Ocean, the Narrow Seas, and La Manche in French.
  • The Channel served as a natural defence, contributing to Britain's ability to repel invasion attempts throughout history, including during the Napoleonic Wars and World War II.
  • The Channel historically facilitated trade between Britain and continental Europe, promoting cultural and economic exchange.
  • The Channel remains a vital shipping lane, connecting major ports and serving as a crucial route for international maritime traffic.


Mihir Sen was the first Indian and also the first Asian to successfully swim across the English Channel in 1958.


  • The English Channel has played a key role in shaping the history and geography of Europe, particularly influencing the development of Britain as a naval superpower and serving as a natural barrier against invasion.


Times of India



Q. Consider the following statements:

1. The English Channel is located between southern England and northern France.

2. The Strait of Dover is the narrowest part of the English Channel.

3. Wales and Scotland are part of the United Kingdom, but they don't border the English Channel.

4. The English Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

How many of the above statements are correct?

A) Only one

B) Only two

C) Only three

D) All four

Answer: D