Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is between the Greek and Anatolian Peninsulas between Turkey and Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. People believe that this sea gets its name from Aegae, an ancient town in Greece. Or it might have been named after the Amazon queen Aegea or a sea-goat Aigaion since Aegean Sea’s previous name was Archipelago. Altogether, it covers an area of 83,000 square miles, and it is a crucial natural characteristic of the Mediterranean Sea.

Aegean Sea is an essential general knowledge topic. UPSC aspirants can go through this article for detailed information.

Also, refer to the links given below and complement your IAS Exam preparation:

Major Straits of the World

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Caspian Sea

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Sea Snot Outbreak in Turkey

Suez Canal Blockage 2021

Location of the Sea

The blue Aegean Sea has a fascinating location. It is connected by major cities in its surroundings.

  • It connects to the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea by the Bosphorus and Dardanelles in the north.
  • This sea connects to the Ionian Sea in its west via a strait between the Peloponnese peninsula of Crete and Greece.

Important Facts on Aegean Sea

  • It is also called White Sea in some south Slavik languages.
  • The White Sea has a depth of 11,642 feet, and the maximum length is 430 miles, maximum width being 250 miles.
  • Gockeada and Bozkaada, two most important islands of this sea, belong to Turkey.
  • A few islands in the Aegean Sea are Kasos, Crete, Rhodes, Kythera, and Karpathos.
  • Sea turtles, dolphins, seals, whales constitute an integral part of this water body’s sea life.
  • One man reported a case of seeing a white shark a few decades ago, although scorpionfish, jellyfish, and crocodiles are riskier than sharks in the sea waters.

History of Aegean Sea

  • It has cradled the civilisation of Greece and Western Turkey.
  • The present coastline of this water body has been in existence since 4000 BC. Only large-watered coastal plains were present there instead of the northern Aegean region before that.
  • This sea also has historical significance because thousands of Greek ships sailed when they set out to sack Troy to rescue Helen in this sea.

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Significance of Aegean Sea

  • This water body is the lifeline of numerous cities. Out of which, the largest cities are Thessaloniki and Athens in Greece and Izmir in Turkey. In addition, it is home to numerous Greek and Turkish settlements located along the mainline coast. It also has towns on the Aegean islands.
  • The weather of Western Turkey and Greece remains hot and dry during summers and wet and mild during winters. This is influenced by this water body, and this type of weather specifies hot-summer Mediterranean climate. However, due to the presence of this large water body, summers are somewhat manageable on the west and east coasts of Aegean Sea. Cities that are located north of this sea have preferably cooler summers.
  • Islands located in this sea contribute to the tourism industry of Greece. Five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located alone in the Aegean Islands. These include:
  1. The Cave of the Apocalypse and The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian on Patmos
  2. The Nea Moni of Chios
  3. The Island of Delos
  4. The Mediaeval city of Rhodes
  5. The Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos in Samos

Santorini, an island located in this water body, witnesses an estimated 2 million tourists every year.

  • Another significance of this sea is the fishing industry. Fish is Greece’s second-largest agricultural export, Greece being Europe’s largest fishing fleet. People of Aegean islands capture Grey mullets, sea bass, sea bream, grouper, sardines and mackerel.
  • There are multiple ports located along this sea’s Greek and Turkish coasts. The chief port of Greece, largest passenger port in Europe and third-largest port in the World is the port of Piraeus in Athens, and it is located along the coasts of this sea as well.

The Aegean Sea is an integral part of the historical and economic development of Europe. In-depth knowledge on this topic will help aspiring candidates prepare better for competitive exams.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

Other Related Links:

Geography Notes For UPSC

Geography Questions and Answers for UPSC

UPSC Mains Geography Question Paper

Topic-Wise GS 1 Questions in UPSC Mains

Previous Year UPSC Prelims Geography Questions With Solutions

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus, Strategy & Structure


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