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Red Sea Biota

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. It is situated to the east of ancient Egypt. To its north lies the Sinai Peninsula, which connects Africa to Asia and forms a natural border between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The Red Sea has a rich ecosystem, noted for its marine life and corals.


Punt Ship

Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa (Ερυθρὰ Θάλασσα). The name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured sea sawdust near the water's surface.[1] A theory favored by some modern scholars is that the name red is referring to the direction south, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to north. The basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used color words to refer to the cardinal directions.[2] The Greek hostorian Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably.[3]

Trade and Exploration[]


Wadi Hammamat was a trade route that led from the city of Coptos (Gebtu in Egyptian) in Upper Egypt to the Red Sea. The earliest known exploration of the Red Sea was conducted by the ancient Egyptians, as they attempted to establish commercial routes to the land of Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 BC, and another around 1500 BC under Pharaoh Hatshepsut. Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea.[4]


  1. "Red Sea". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  2. "How the Red Sea Got its Name"
  3. Schmitt 1996.
  4. Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe (2006). "Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration". W.W. Norton & Company. p. 24.