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Sargasso Sea

19th December, 2023 Geography

Sargasso Sea

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  • The Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean is now at least 30% more acidic and 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 40 years ago and climate change is to blame.

About Sargasso Sea

  • A genus of brown macroalgae called Sargassum is abundant in the Sargasso Sea, an area of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Situated in what is known as the renowned "Bermuda Triangle," this sea is the only one in the world without a land border.
  • Unlike other seas, its placement is dictated by ocean currents.
  • It is surrounded by the huge network of circulating ocean currents known as the Northern Atlantic Subtropical Gyre.
  • The Sargasso Sea is divided into four sections: the northern limit is marked by the North Atlantic Current, the southern limit by the North Equatorial Current and Antilles Current, and the western limit by the Gulf Stream.
  • These borders are shifting in a clockwise manner.
  • Season by season, they change in accordance with the Azores High-Pressure Centre.

Sea Boundaries

  • The Gulf Stream, the North Atlantic Current, the Canary Current, and the North Atlantic Equatorial Current all serve as boundaries for the anticlockwise-circulating North Atlantic Gyre, which is also known as the North Atlantic Ocean Current System.
  • It is roughly 1,100 km (680 mi) wide and 3,200 km (2,000 mi) long, and it is located between 20° and 35° north and 40° and 70° west.
  • Bermuda is close to the western seaboard.
  • The Sargasso Sea is not a sea in the traditional sense but is instead defined by ocean currents that form a gyre and trap the seaweed and other floating debris in its centre.

More Information about Sargasso Sea

  • The tranquil, elliptical Sargasso Sea is a region of the North Atlantic Ocean that is abundant with free-floating Sargassum seaweed.
  • Situated between the parallels 20° N and 35° N and the meridian 30° W and 70° W, it is situated within a clockwise-moving ocean current system, with the Gulf Stream—which originates from the Gulf of Mexico—forming a portion of the western rim.
  • Weak currents, minimal precipitation, rapid evaporation, light breezes, warm, saline seas, and depths ranging from 5,000 to 23,000 feet (1,500 to 7,000 m) are the characteristics of the sea.
  • These elements, along with the absence of heat mixing, produce a biological desert that is mainly absent of plankton, which is a major food source for fish.
  • The brown seaweed, also called gulfweed, is kept above the water's surface by its tiny but conspicuous bladders, which resemble tiny berries.
  • Then, it seems to get a little replenished by coastal plants floating in from the southwest as it moves with the wind and current.
  • Seaweed, most of which is exclusive to the coastal zone, supports a specialist marine life.
  • When Christopher Columbus made his first voyage through the Sargasso Sea in 1492, he gave the first description of the region, which includes the Bermuda islands.
  • The seaweed signalled land nearby, so Columbus was encouraged to press on.
  • However, many early navigators were afraid a worry unfounded of getting entangled in the flotsam of floating vegetation.

Importance of Sargasso Sea

  • Sargassum is an essential habitat for fish, crabs, prawns and other marine animals whose habitats have been adapted to these floating algae.
  • The Sargasso Sea is home to breeding populations of white marlin, dolphins, porbeagle sharks, and threatened and endangered eels.
  • Numerous endemic species, like the Sargassum fish and the young eels known as "leptocephali," can be found in the Sargasso Sea, which is renowned for its distinctive ecology.


Consider the following statements regarding the Sargasso Sea:

  1. It has no land borders and is totally contained within the Atlantic Ocean.
  2. This sea's Canary current flows in an easterly direction.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A) 1 only

B) 2 only

C) Both 1 and 2

D) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C