Strait of Messina

Strait of Messina
Stretto di Messina
Satellite photo of the Strait of Messina with names. NASA image.
Strait of Messina is located in Mediterranean
Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
LocationTyrrhenian SeaIonian Sea
Coordinates38°14′45″N 15°37′57″E / 38°14′45″N 15°37′57″E / 38.24583; 15.63250
Basin countriesItaly
SettlementsMessina, Villa San Giovanni, Reggio Calabria, Scilla, Calabria

The Strait of Messina (Italian: Stretto di Messina), is a narrow strait between the eastern tip of Sicily (Punta del Faro) and the western tip of Calabria (Punta Pezzo) in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, between Torre Faro and Villa San Giovanni, it is 3.1 km (1.9 mi) wide. At the town of Messina it is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) wide. The strait's maximum depth is about 250 m (820 ft).

The strait has strong tidal currents that create a unique marine ecosystem.[1] A natural whirlpool in the northern portion of the strait has been linked to the Greek legend of Scylla and Charybdis.[2] In some circumstances, the mirage of Fata Morgana can be observed when looking at Sicily from Calabria. With its bottleneck shape, it is also a compulsory point of transit of the migration of many bird species.

In 1957, a 220 kV overhead power line was built across the Strait of Messina. Its pylons are among the highest in the world. This power line has since been replaced by a submarine power cable, but the pylons remain and are protected as historical monuments (see Pylons of Messina).

Bird migration

The strait seen from Mount Dinnammare, Peloritani

The Strait of Messina is a focal point in the migrations of birds every year, who mainly cross the strait to reach their breeding grounds in northern Europe. Due to this form of bottleneck more than 300 species are recorded in the area, which is a major European hot spot for raptors, with a record of 35.000 in a spring.[3] Among them the European honey buzzard and the marsh harrier are the most frequent, species like Bonelli's eagle and Egyptian vulture are less frequent but regular. In the coastal salt lakes of the Strait of Messina species like glossy ibis, flamingos and black-winged stilt stop to rest. The site is also favorable for observing storks. The monte Dinnammare and the other Peloritani mountains overlooking the Strait are a natural theater for birdwatching.

Other Languages
العربية: مسينة (مضيق)
azərbaycanca: Messin boğazı
беларуская: Месінскі праліў
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мэсынскі праліў
български: Месински пролив
bosanski: Mesinski prolaz
Esperanto: Mesina Markolo
한국어: 메시나 해협
Bahasa Indonesia: Selat Messina
íslenska: Messínasund
עברית: מצר מסינה
Lëtzebuergesch: Strooss vu Messina
македонски: Месински Проток
Nederlands: Straat van Messina
नेपाल भाषा: मेसिना जलसन्धि
norsk nynorsk: Messinasundet
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Messina boʻgʻozi
slovenčina: Messinský prieliv
slovenščina: Mesinska ožina
српски / srpski: Месински мореуз
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mesinski prolaz
svenska: Messinasundet
Tiếng Việt: Eo biển Messina