Sargasso Sea


Sargasso Sea
a relatively calm area of water in the N Atlantic, NE of the West Indies.

* * *

Body of still water in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Elliptical in shape and strewn with a brown floating seaweed of the genus Sargassum, it lies between the parallels 20° and 35° N and the meridians 30° and 70° W and encompasses the Bermuda islands. It was first mentioned by Christopher Columbus, who crossed it in 1492. The presence of the seaweed suggested the proximity of land and encouraged him to continue, but many early navigators feared becoming entangled in the floating vegetation and turned back.

* * *

area, North Atlantic Ocean
      area of the North Atlantic Ocean, elliptical in shape and relatively still, that is strewn with free-floating seaweed of the genus Sargassum. It lies between the parallels 20° N and 35° N and the meridians 30° W and 70° W inside a clockwise-setting ocean-current system, of which the Gulf Stream (issuing from the Gulf of Mexico) forms part of the western rim. The sea reaches depths of 5,000–23,000 feet (1,500–7,000 m) and is characterized by weak currents, low precipitation, high evaporation, light winds, and warm, saline waters, all combining with the lack of thermal mixing to create a biological desert largely devoid of plankton, a basic food supply for fish.

      The brown seaweed (gulfweed) is kept at the surface by its small but prominent berrylike bladders. It then travels with the wind and current, apparently receiving minor replenishment from coastal plants drifting in from the southwest. The seaweed supports a specialized marine life, most of it characteristic of a coastal zone but some found only in this area.

      The Sargasso Sea, which encompasses the Bermuda islands, was first mentioned by Christopher Columbus (Columbus, Christopher), who crossed it on his initial voyage in 1492. The presence of the seaweed suggested the proximity of land and encouraged Columbus to continue, but many early navigators had the fear (actually unfounded) of becoming entangled within the mass of floating vegetation.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sargasso Sea — Sargasso Sar*gas so, n. [Sp. sargazo seaweed.] (Bot.) The gulf weed. See under {Gulf}. [1913 Webster] {Sargasso Sea}, a large tract of the North Atlantic Ocean where sargasso in great abundance floats on the surface. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sargasso Sea — [sär gas′ō] [Port sargaço: see SARGASSUM] region of calms in the N Atlantic, northeast of the West Indies, noted for its abundance of sargassum …   English World dictionary

  • Sargasso Sea — The Sargasso Sea is a region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south …   Wikipedia

  • Sargasso Sea — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Sargasso Sea – Im Meer der Leidenschaft Originaltitel Wide Sargasso Sea …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sargasso Sea — Sar•gas′so Sea′ [[t]sɑrˈgæs oʊ[/t]] n. geg a relatively calm area of water in the N Atlantic, NE of the West Indies: central part covered with sargassum …   From formal English to slang

  • Sargasso Sea — noun a vast area of the North Atlantic from the West Indies to the Azores that is dense with gulfweed • Instance Hypernyms: ↑sea • Part Holonyms: ↑Atlantic, ↑Atlantic Ocean …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sargasso Sea — geographical name tract of comparatively still water N Atlantic lying chiefly between 25° & 35°N & 40° & 70°W and containing thick seaweed growth …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sargasso Sea — noun An elongated area in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ocean currents …   Wiktionary

  • Sargasso Sea —  Area of Atlantic Ocean where masses of floating seaweed are found …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Sargasso Sea — /saˈgæsoʊ ˌsi/ (say sah gasoh .see) noun a part of the North Atlantic, between the Azores and the West Indies. {named after the floating masses of sargassum found in this area} …   Australian English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.