In general, a sea is said to be an extended part of the saline water that is connected with at least one of the five oceans in the world, namely: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and the Southern Oceans. Many geographers regard sea as a small area of ocean that are bounded by land to a greater or a lesser degree. And based on these details, geographers divide sea into two different types: Marginal seas- partially enclosed by land, and Mediterranean sea- mostly enclosed by land.
With a total of 85 seas in the world, these water bodies in the ocean has been home to many marine life. With a total of 96.5% water and the remaining impurities, organic materials, salts and dissolved gases, the sea also has been the source to several minerals and salts that supply the basic needs of people all around the world. Based on the area that the sea covers here we list the top 10 largest seas in the world.
The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay in the world and tenth on our list of top 10 largest seas in the world. Covering an area of 2,172,000 sq. km, this triangular shaped gulf forms the northeastern part of the Indian ocean. Bordering to India and Srilanka to the west, Myanmar and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the east and Bangladesh to the north, several rivers like the Holy Ganges, Hooghly, Padma, Brahmaputra and more flow into this sea. The Bay of Bengal also encloses some of the biggest ports in the world, namely Chennai in India and Chittagong in Bangladesh.
A marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea is separated by the Alaska Peninsula from the Gulf of Alaska. Covering an area of 2,291,900 sq. km, it was named after Vitus Bering who explored it in 1728 as the navigator sailed to the Arctic Ocean from the Pacific Ocean. It borders with Alaska on the east and north east, Kamchatka Peninsula and the Russia’s far east in the north, Alaska Peninsula on the South and the Bering Strait on the far north. With a good interaction in the weather, water currents and sea ice, this sea is a part of the productive ecosystem for a lot of marine life.
Also called as Te Tai-o-Rehua in Maori, the Tasman sea is a southwesterly marginal sea, a part of the South Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand. Covering a total area of around 2,330,000 sq. km, the sea was named after Abel Janszoon Tasman, a Dutch explorer. The Tasman sea was one of the major part of voyage of Captain James Cook in the 1770s. Several beautiful islands like the Norfolk Island and the Lord Howe Island are a part of this sea.
Considered as a part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean sea is almost completely enclosed by land on the east by Levant, on the south by North Africa and on the north by Europe. With a total area of 2,500,000 sq. km, it is also called as the Euraafrican Mediterranean sea to distinguish itself from other mediterranean sea. The Mediterranean sea has a long history of origin and development of modern societies, as it was a very important route for travelers and merchants in the ancient times for the use of cultural and trade exchange. This sea is also connected to around 60 countries in its basins.
Located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere and bounded by Greater Antilles to the north, Lesser Antilles to the east, South America to the south and Mexico and Central America to the west, the Caribbean sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area of 2,754,000 sq. km, it includes numerous islands and coasts in its area. With several gulfs and bays like the Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Paria, Gulf of Mosquitos and Gulf of Honduras being the popular ones, the deepest point of the Caribbean sea is the Cayman Trough at 7,686m below the sea level in between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
The sea with cleanest water on earth, the Weddell Sea is a part of the Southern Ocean containing the Weddell Gyre. Regarded as the most dismal and treacherous region on earth, this sea is bounded by the Antarctic Peninsula and the Coasts Land. This sea is contained mostly in the Antarctic territories belonging to Argentina and Britain, while a part of it is also claimed by Chile. With an area of around 2,800,000 sq. km, the sea is around 2,000 km wide. Named after Scottish sailor James Weddell, it was discovered in 1823. Because of the cold climate, this sea is mostly covered by ice and is a home to penguins, leopard seals, and killer whales in abundance. This sea has attracted a lot of marine photographers which come from several parts of the world to capture the wildlife in the cold regions.
A marginal sea and a part of the Pacific Ocean, the South China Sea covers an area of around 3,500,000 sq. km and is bordered to Singapore, Malacca Straits and the Taiwan Straits. It is one of the major shipping transitions and has a great potential of oils and gas reserves at its seabed. Connected with the mainlands of China and islands of Taiwan in the south, Philippines in the west, Malaysia and Brunei in the north west, Indonesia in the north and Vietnam in the east, it holds hundreds of archipelagos within its area.
Originally named as the Sindhu Sagar or the Erythraean sea, the Arabian sea is a part of the Indian Ocean that is bounded by India on the east, Arabian peninsula on the west, Pakistan and Iran on the north and Somalia on the northeastern region. This sea also has been regarded as the major marine trade routes in the world. Covering an area of around 3,862,000 sq. km, this sea is 2,400 km wide and goes to 4,652m deep. This sea also holds some of the best beaches in India, namely Kovalam Beach and Colva beach. Some of the major islands on the part of this largest sea are Astola Island, Socotra and Masirah.
A marginal sea in the northeast coast of Australia, the Coral sea is one of the best sea with its warm and stable climate. Including the Great Barrier Reef, it is bounded by the Queensland in the west, Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the east, and Solomon Islands in the southern extremity. It also includes the Gulf of Papua in the northwest that reaches to the New Guinea. With several islands and reefts around its teritory, the largest Reef, the GBR or the Great Barrier Reef, one of the major World Heritage Sites is a part of this sea. Spread around an area of 4,791,000 sq. km, this sea hold some of the best beaches and travel destinations where people come to enjoy bird watching and getting to know aquatic life.
The largest sea in the world with reference to the surface area, the Philippine Sea is a marginal sea and a part of the North Pacific Ocean. Covering an area of 5,177,562 sq. km, the Philippine sea borders the Philippine archipelago on the south west, Carolines on the Southeast, Marianas on the east and Bonin, Taiwan on the west and Japan on the north. With great tectonic plates at the base of the sea, the sea has a very complex and diversified relief undersea. The Philippine sea enclosed some of the deepest trenches in the world, namely Philippine trench and the Mariana Trench( the deepest point on earth). This sea is also known to be a home of several marine life with around five hundred species of corals. Several types of sea snakes, octopuses, sharks and turtles are found in this sea. One of the most common fish, the Tuna is also homed to this largest sea on earth.
People often get confused regarding sea and ocean, but the fact is: sea is a part of the ocean water. These top 10 largest sea in the world are home to several marine life and water ecosystem. Several ports and trading routes are maintained in these sea because of which they are of much more value to us. Further, beaches, islands and several archipelagos present in these area help in flourishing the tourism industry. Several fishery and salt industry has been running near to these sea which add a great value to the human life.