Strait of Gibraltar

Strait of Gibraltar
STS059-238-074 Strait of Gibraltar.jpg
The Strait of Gibraltar as seen from space.
The Iberian Peninsula is on the left and North Africa on the right.
LocationAtlantic Ocean – Mediterranean Sea
Coordinates35°58′N 5°29′W / 35°58′N 5°29′W / 35.967; -5.483
Basin countries
Min. width14.3 km (8.9 mi)
Max. depth900 metres (2,953 ft)

The Strait of Gibraltar (Arabic: مضيق جبل طارق‎, romanizedMaḍīq Jabal Ṭāriq; Spanish: Estrecho de Gibraltar) is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa.

The two continents are separated by 14.3 kilometres (8.9 miles; 7.7 nautical miles) of ocean at the Strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres (980 and 2,950 feet; 160 and 490 fathoms)[1] which possibly interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago[2] when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m (360–390 ft; 60–66 fathoms).[3] Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.

Names and etymology

The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jabal Ṭāriq (meaning "Tariq's Mount"),[4] named after Tariq ibn Ziyad. It is also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, the Gut of Gibraltar (although this is mostly archaic),[5] the STROG (STRait Of Gibraltar) in naval use,[6] and Bāb al-Maghrib (Arabic: باب المغرب‎), "Gate of Morocco". In the Middle Ages, Muslims called it Az-Zuqāq (الزقاق), "the Passage", the Romans called it Fretum Gaditanum (Strait of Cadiz),[7] and in the ancient world it was known as the "Pillars of Hercules" (Ancient Greek: αἱ Ἡράκλειοι στῆλαι, romanizedhai Hērákleioi stêlai).[8]

Other Languages
العربية: مضيق جبل طارق
Avañe'ẽ: Ypo'i Hivyraytã
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гібральтарскі праліў
dolnoserbski: Gibraltarski pśelew
estremeñu: Estrechu Gibraltar
Արեւմտահայերէն: Ճիպրալթարի Նեղուց
hornjoserbsce: Gibraltarski přeliw
Bahasa Indonesia: Selat Gibraltar
íslenska: Gíbraltarsund
къарачай-малкъар: Гибралтар ачыкъ богъаз
لۊری شومالی: تٱنڳٱ جٱبٱلوتارق
Lëtzebuergesch: Strooss vu Gibraltar
Lingua Franca Nova: Streta Jibraltar
Bahasa Melayu: Selat Gibraltar
norsk nynorsk: Gibraltarsundet
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gibraltar boʻgʻozi
Simple English: Strait of Gibraltar
slovenščina: Gibraltarska ožina
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Gibraltarski tjesnac
татарча/tatarça: Гибралтар бугазы
Tiếng Việt: Eo biển Gibraltar