Skip to main content
Select Source:

Red Sea

Red Sea, ancient Sinus Arabicus or Erythraean Sea, narrow sea, c.170,000 sq mi (440,300 sq km), c.1,450 mi (2,330 km) long and up to 225 mi (362 km) wide, between Africa (Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea) and the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia and Yemen); a part of the Great Rift Valley. The Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez are the sea's northern arms; between them is the Sinai peninsula. The Red Sea is linked with the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea by the straits of Bab el Mandeb. The flat coastal plains of the Red Sea slope gradually to the submarine central trough, more than 7,000 ft (2,134 m) deep. The sea is dotted with islands (the largest group is the Dahlak Archipelago in the southwest) and with dangerous coral reefs. It is surrounded by exceedingly hot and dry deserts and steppes; the summer water temperature exceeds 85°F (29°C), and the water has a high salt content. The Red Sea was an important trade route in antiquity. Its importance declined with the discovery of an all-water route around Africa in 1498. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 made the Red Sea one of the chief shipping routes connecting Europe with East Asia and Australia. The closing of the canal after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the building of pipelines to the Mediterranean Sea, and the construction of supertankers too large for the canal diminished the sea's importance as a commercial artery, especially for petroleum. In 1975, however, the canal was reopened and enlarged, and traffic through the sea increased. Suez, Egypt; Elat, Israel; Jidda, Saudi Arabia; Hodeida, Yemen; Massawa, Eritrea; and Port Sudan, Sudan, are the main ports on the Red Sea and its northern arms.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Red Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Red Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/red-sea

"Red Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/red-sea

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Erythraean Sea

Erythraean Sea (ĕrĬthrē´ən), name of unclear origin anciently applied to the Indian Ocean, later to the Arabian Gulf, and finally to the Red Sea.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Erythraean Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Erythraean Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/erythraean-sea

"Erythraean Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 24, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/erythraean-sea

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.