Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea
Caribbean general map.png
Coordinates15°N 75°W / 15°N 75°W / 15; -75
TypeSea
Surface area2,754,000 km2 (1,063,000 sq mi)
Max. depth7,686 m (25,217 ft)

The Caribbean Sea (Spanish: Mar Caribe; French: Mer des Caraïbes; Dutch: Caraïbische Zee) is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and south west, to the north by the Greater Antilles starting with Cuba, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by the north coast of South America.

The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, and adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the Caribbean. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 km2 (1,063,000 sq mi).[1][2] The sea's deepest point is the Cayman Trough, between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, at 7,686 m (25,217 ft) below sea level. The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonâve, Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Darién, Golfo de los Mosquitos, Gulf of Paria and Gulf of Honduras.

The Caribbean Sea has the world's second biggest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. It runs 1,000 km (620 mi) along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.[3]

History

Christopher Columbus landing on Hispaniola in 1492.

The name "Caribbean" derives from the Caribs, one of the region's dominant Native American groups at the time of European contact during the late 15th century. After Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, the Spanish term Antillas applied to the lands; stemming from this, "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternative name for "Caribbean Sea" in various European languages. During the first century of development, Spanish dominance in the region remained undisputed.

From the 16th century, Europeans visiting the Caribbean region identified the "South Sea" (the Pacific Ocean, to the south of the isthmus of Panama) as opposed to the "North Sea" (the Caribbean Sea, to the north of the same isthmus).[4]

Tulum, Maya city on the coast of the Caribbean in the state of Quintana Roo (Mexico)

The Caribbean Sea had been unknown to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia. At that time the Western Hemisphere in general was unknown to most Europeans, although it had been discovered between the years 800 and 1000 by the vikings. Following the discovery of the islands by Columbus, the area was quickly colonized by several Western cultures (initially Spain, then later England, the Dutch Republic, France, Courland and Denmark). Following the colonization of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean Sea became a busy area for European-based marine trading and transports, and this commerce eventually attracted pirates such as Samuel Bellamy and Blackbeard.

As of 2015 the area is home to 22 island territories and borders 12 continental countries.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Karibiese See
Alemannisch: Karibisches Meer
Ænglisc: Caribisc Sǣ
aragonés: Mar Caribe
asturianu: Mar Caribe
Avañe'ẽ: Para Karíve
azərbaycanca: Karib dənizi
bamanankan: Karayibu Ji
Bân-lâm-gú: Caribe Hái
башҡортса: Кариб диңгеҙе
беларуская: Карыбскае мора
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карыбскае мора
български: Карибско море
Boarisch: Karibischs Meea
bosanski: Karipsko more
brezhoneg: Mor Karib
català: Mar Carib
Чӑвашла: Кариб тинĕсĕ
čeština: Karibské moře
dolnoserbski: Karibiske mórjo
español: Mar Caribe
Esperanto: Kariba Maro
estremeñu: Mari Caribi
føroyskt: Karibiska Havið
Gaeilge: Muir Chairib
galego: Mar Caribe
ГӀалгӀай: Кариба форд
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Caribe-hói
한국어: 카리브해
հայերեն: Կարիբյան ծով
hornjoserbsce: Karibiske morjo
hrvatski: Karipsko more
Ilokano: Baybay Karibe
Bahasa Indonesia: Laut Karibia
interlingua: Mar Caribe
íslenska: Karíbahaf
italiano: Mare Caraibico
ქართული: კარიბის ზღვა
қазақша: Кариб теңізі
kernowek: Mor Karib
Kiswahili: Bahari ya Karibi
Кыргызча: Кариб деңизи
кырык мары: Кариб тангыж
latviešu: Karību jūra
lietuvių: Karibų jūra
Limburgs: Caribische Ziè
Lingua Franca Nova: Mar Caribe
Livvinkarjala: Karibien meri
la .lojban.: karibes. zei xamsi
magyar: Karib-tenger
македонски: Карипско Море
მარგალური: კარიბიშ ზუღა
مازِرونی: کارائیب دریا
Bahasa Melayu: Laut Caribbean
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Caribe Hāi
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကာရစ်ဘီယံ ပင်လယ်
Nāhuatl: Caribe hueyatl
Nederlands: Caraïbische Zee
नेपाल भाषा: क्यारिबियन सागर
日本語: カリブ海
Nordfriisk: Kariibisk Sia
norsk nynorsk: Det karibiske havet
occitan: Mar Cariba
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Karib dengizi
Papiamentu: Laman Karibe
Piemontèis: Mar dij Caràib
português: Mar do Caribe
русиньскый: Карібске море
саха тыла: Кариб байҕала
Simple English: Caribbean Sea
slovenčina: Karibské more
slovenščina: Karibsko morje
ślůnski: Karajibske Morze
српски / srpski: Карипско море
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Karipsko more
Basa Sunda: Laut Karibia
Tagalog: Dagat Karibe
tarandíne: Mare Caraibeche
татарча/tatarça: Кариб диңгезе
Türkçe: Karayip Denizi
Türkmençe: Karib deňzi
українська: Карибське море
vepsän kel’: Kariban meri
Tiếng Việt: Biển Caribe
Winaray: Dagat Caribe
吴语: 加勒比海
粵語: 加勒比海
žemaitėška: Karėbu jūra
中文: 加勒比海