- Messina, Strait of
ancient Siculum FretumChannel between southern Italy and northeastern Sicily.It is 2.5 to 12 mi (4 to 19 km) wide. The city of Messina lies on its bank in Sicily, opposite Reggio di Calabria. Ferry service across the strait links Messina with the Italian mainland.
* * *channel in the Mediterranean Sea separating Sicily (west) and Italy (east) and linking the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas. The strait is 20 miles (32 km) long, 2 miles (3 km) wide in the north (between Faro Point and the Rock of Scylla), and 10 miles (16 km) wide in the south (between capes Alì and Pellaro); it is 300 feet (90 m) deep at the northern end.The strait was greatly feared by sailors in antiquity, mainly because of the rocks and whirlpools known as Scylla and Charybdis (q.v.), which were personified as female monsters in Greek mythology. The strait's currents do, in fact, present considerable difficulties. The main current runs from south to north, but a subsidiary current flows in the reverse direction. These usually alternate every six hours, and the water falls 6 to 8 inches (150 to 200 mm) during the main current; especially strong currents tear seaweed from the bottom and sometimes throw up fish with atrophied or abnormal eyes and with organs for the production of phosphorescence. The frequent sighting of a mirage, called Fata Morgana (see Morgan Le Fay), consisting of an apparent vertical elongation of an object on the shore, helped maintain the legends of the strait.The major ports along the strait's scenic banks are Messina and Reggio di Calabria. The coastal regions are noted for archaeological remains and resorts, and the strait is rich in fish and plankton.
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Messina, Strait of — geographical name channel between S mainland part of Italy & NE Sicily … New Collegiate Dictionary
MESSINA, STRAIT OF — 24 m. long, and at its narrowest 2½ broad; separates Sicily from the Italian mainland; here were the Scylla and Charybdis of the ancients … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Messina, Strait of — … Useful english dictionary
Strait of Messina Bridge — Satellite photo of the Strait of Messina, taken June 2002. NASA image. The Strait of Messina Bridge is a long planned suspension bridge across the Strait of Messina, a narrow section of water between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip … Wikipedia
Strait of Messina — Satellite photo of the Strait of Messina with names. NASA image. The Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina in Italian, Strittu di Missina in Sicilian) is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the … Wikipedia
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strait — straitly, adv. straitness, n. /strayt/, n. 1. Often, straits. (used with a sing. v.) a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water. 2. Often, straits. a position of difficulty, distress, or need: Ill and penniless, he was in sad… … Universalium
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Messina — [mə sē′nə] 1. seaport in NE Sicily, on the Strait of Messina: pop. 233,000 2. Strait of strait between Sicily & Italy: 2 12 mi (3 19 km) wide; 20 mi (32 km) long … English World dictionary
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