Setting up a connection between the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Sea lies in the north-west part of the Indian Ocean. The Arabian Sea is an important link among the neighboring countries like Iran, UAE, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, and the Horn of Africa nations. In this read, we are going to present you with some interesting facts about the Arabian Sea.
25+ Interesting Arabian Sea Facts
Fact 1: The Geographical Area
The Arabian Sea extends over a total area of 1,491,000 square miles and is surrounded by water bodies like Gulf of Oman in the northwest and Gulf of Aden in the southeast. The Gulf of Oman joins the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden connects it to the Red Sea.
Fact 2: The Name
The water body was named after the Arab traders who used to travel frequently using the sea route since the 9th century to the late medieval period.
Fact 3: The Depth and Marine Features
The Arabian Sea has a varying depth as it merges with the Indian Ocean to the south. However, the average depth is approximated at 8,970 feet. What is interesting is that the Sea has unusually deep water near the land masses.
Moreover, there are few islands in the Sea except the Maldives Ridge, which is similar to a mountain range that runs along the floor of the sea from the Arabian Sea to the Indian Ocean. It eventually rises above the surface of the water and forms the Maldives Island. Other small islands are Lakshadweep (India), Socotra (Yemen), Astola Island (Pakistan), and Masirah Island (Oman).
Fact 4: Home to the Largest Island
Socotra Island is the largest island in the Arabian Sea. It is part of an archipelago consisting of four islands.
Fact 5: Basins
The Arabian Sea has two basins, namely the Somali Basin and the Arab Basin.
Fact 6: The Peninsulas
The Arabian Sea is bounded by three major peninsulas, namely the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian Peninsula.
Fact 7: Natural and Aquatic Resources
There is rich storage of petroleum and natural gas underneath the floor of the Arabian Sea. Also, it is full of aquatic resources, including a large population of pelagic fish, tuna, sardine, billfish, wahoo, and different types of sharks.
Fact 8: Whales
The Arabian Sea is the home to different kinds of whales, including the Blue whale, Humpback whales, Minke whales, Sperm whales, and Orca whales.
Fact 9: Turtles
You can find a variety of turtles residing in the Arabian Sea. They include green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and dugongs.
Fact 10: Flying Fish
The Arabian Sea is the residence of flying fishes. One can see a school of flying fish just above the water surface in the city of Mumbai in India. The city coast hosts five different species of flying fish.
Fact 11: Other Marine Creatures in the Mumbai Sea
Marine animals like dolphins, stingray, jellyfish, barnacles, fiddler crabs can be found in the Arabian Sea beside the city of Mumbai.
Fact 12: Absence of Coral Reef
Owing to the narrow continental shelf along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, which gets narrower along the Somali coast, no coral reefs could be found forming along the Arabian coast.
Fact 13: Algae Sargassopsis Zanardinni
Algae Sargassopsis Zanardinni can only be observed in the Arabian Sea and nowhere else in the world. It is endemic there.
Fact 14: The Sea Current
Marked upswelling of deeper water takes place along the Somali and Arabian coasts in summer due to the complex Somali current, which moves at a speed of around 7 knots or 13km per hour off the coast of Socotra.
Fact 15: The Riverine Input
Indus is the largest river that flows into the Arabian Sea from Pakistan. Rivers like Tapti, Narmada, and Sabarmati flow into the Arabian Sea from India.
Fact 16: The Climate
With a prominence of monsoon climate, the minimum air temperature is about 24 to 25 degree Celsius at the sea surface during winter. In summer it rises to 28 degree Celsius. During the rainy season, the salinity in the upper 150 feet of the sea is recorded to be 35 parts per thousand. The Arabian Sea has the highest salinity as it does not get enough rain, and there are not many rivers that pour into it.
Fact 17: Flow of Wind
Wind flows from the southwestern region of Indian Peninsula during the period June to August. The wind flow, however, is reversed from September to November.
Fact 18: Cyclones
Summer monsoons are often very strong over the Arabian Sea. In spring, typical cyclones can be observed over the Sea, but in the winter, the storm is not that common. However, Arabian Sea faces a smaller number of storms than its neighboring Bay of Bengal.
Fact 19: Net Water Loss
The evaporation from the Arabian Sea far outweighs its precipitation and combined inputs from rivers. This leads to a net water loss every year.
Fact 20: Mass Mortality of Fish
The lack of oxygen in the water of the tropical region and its rich phosphate content gives rise to a peculiar phenomenon where thousands of fishes die without oxygen. This is a periodic incidence in the Arabian Sea, known as the mass mortality of fish.
Fact 21: A Dead Zone
An area larger than Scotland in the Gulf of Oman remains totally devoid of oxygen. As such, this area cannot support any marine life and is known as the world’s largest dead zone.
Fact 22: Fishing – Small Scale and Commercial
Extensive small scale fishing is conducted along the eastern Arabian Sea coast of Africa, west coast of India and the Arabian Peninsula. On the other hand, commercial fishing is carried out by countries like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE, Oman, Yemen, France, South Korea, Japan, and the Maldives.
Fact 23: Trade Route
Exploiting the strategic location of the Arabian Sea, several ports have developed along its coasts, such as Mumbai, Marmagao, Kandla, and Kochi in India and Muhammad Bin Qasim and Karachi in Pakistan. The Arabian Sea connects to the busiest shipping lanes like the Persian Gulf shipping lane and Red Sea shipping lane.
Fact 24: The Largest Port
Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, India is considered the largest port of the Arabian Sea.
Facts 25: Environmental Threats
Excessive oil exploration and use of the Arabian Sea as a shipping lane has started taking their toll on the health of the waterbody. Oil spills, anchor damage, and sedimentation are permanent threats in the geographic area. Mechanized fishing practices also have damaged the ecosystem of the Arabian Sea.
Fact 26: Goa, A famous tourist destination on the coast of the Arabian Sea
Goa is in western India and is bounded by the Arabian Sea. It has more than 30 exquisite beaches and represents a unique blend of European and Indian culture. It is a favorite destination of tourists from Western countries.
Fact 27: Marine Drive and Queen’s Necklace
The city of Mumbai is on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive in South Mumbai is a Boulevard along the coast which is about 3.6-kilometer-long and is a natural bay. At night the road is illuminated, and when viewed from a distance, it looks like a diamond necklace and hence the name Queen’s necklace.
Fact 28: Arabian Gulf: The Highest Anthropogenically Impacted Regions in the World
Rapid industrialization and urbanization led to the degradation of the marine ecosystem. Not just that, different sources of pollution have also made its marine life highly vulnerable.
Fact 29: Concerted Action for the Arabian sea Humpback Whale
In 2017, the UN’s Convention on Migratory Species accepted a proposal for saving the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale.
Fact 30: IUCN Red List Assessment of Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras in the Arabian Sea
The project aims at producing the first Arabian Sea and its adjacent waters regional Red List assessment of 160 chondrichthyans, which are viewed as endangered.