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The Red Sea Facts & History

The Red Sea - Egypt Tours Portal

The Red Sea is a heavenly Phenomenal filled with a number of living miracles that come in different shapes and colors. The main goal of this article is to offer everyone all the information and facts about the red sea. This article was written by a group of a very skilled and professional team of tour operators, tour guides, and travel consultants who know all the details and the best ways to explore the full allure and grandeur of the red sea. The Red Sea has been the main reason behind the rise and fall of many civilizations around the globe. The Red Sea is one of the most popular and influential seas in the world and has a great historical significance that played an essential navigational role since ancient times.

The Red Sea Measurements 

The Red Sea is the world's northernmost tropical sea and occupies a part of the Great Rift Valley. The Maximum width of the Red Sea is 355 km, the maximum length is 2,250 Km, and the water volume in the Red Sea is 233,000 km3. The Red Sea has a surface area of about 174,000 square miles (438,000 km²) which is 1,398 miles (2250 km) long and, at its widest point is over 220 miles (355 km) wide. It has a maximum depth of 9,970 feet (3,040 m) in the central median trench and an average depth of 1,608 feet (490 m), but many shallow shelves are located deep known for containing enchanting marine life such as over 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 soft and hard corals.


History of The Red Sea

The first exploration of the Red Sea started around 2500 BC.and again in 1500 BC when the ancient Egyptian attempted to explore the red sea. The ancient Egyptians built many canals across the red sea but none of them lasted.  The Red Sea was mentioned heavily in the Biblical book of Exodus which describes the holy Crossing of the split of the waters of the red sea.  In the 6th century BC, Darius I of Persia made the Red Sea his navigation project. After two centuries, Alexander the Great continued the exploration process where he sent his naval expeditions to harness the resources of the Red Sea and cross the Indian ocean. From that time forward, the Red Sea has played a crucial role in trading and linking countries together across the centuries until our current day.

In the second century B.C.E, The renowned scholar Agatharchides has collected facts and information about the red sea. In the first century C.E, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes and describes how Hippalus first discovered the direct route from the Red Sea all the way to India.

The Roman Empire took interest in the red sea as an excellent route for trade with India. AS through the red sea From Indian ports, goods from China were introduced to the Roman world. The main contact between Rome and China depended heavily on the Red Sea, but the route was damaged by the Aksumite Empire around the third century C.E. During medieval times the Red Sea was an important part of the Spice trade route. In 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt and captured the Red Sea but failed to take lasting control. With the rise of Oil traffic across the red sea, both the Americans and the Soviets took a real interest in the red sea. It remains the most important sea in the world that acts as a shortcut connecting the east to the west. 

Weather in the Red Sea

The weather around the Red sea tends to be warm in summer and cold in winter. The average water temperature is 22 °C. The temperature in winter can be 28 °C and 34 °C in summer. Its climate is a result of two monsoon seasons, which are a northeasterly monsoon and a southwesterly monsoon. The surface water temperatures of the red sea remain relatively constant at 21–25 °C (70–77 °F) and visibility remains good at around 660 feet (200 m). The Red sea is known for its strong winds and local currents.

Red Sea Name

The Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek "Erythra Thalassa" Latin Mare Rubrum, Arabic Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar, and Tigrinya Qeyḥ bāḥrī. The name of the Red Sea has many origin stories as the name red could signify the seasonal blooms of the red-colored cyanobacteria "Trichodesmium erythraeum" which is located near the water's surface. Many believe it could refer to the mineral-rich red mountains which are called Harei Edom, which means "ruddy complexion," that is an alternative Hebrew name for the red-faced biblical character Esau (brother of Jacob), and the nation descended from him, the Edomites, which in turn provides yet another possible origin for the Red Sea.

The Red Sea was is borders the Egyptian Desert which the ancient Egyptians called the Dashret or "red land"; it would have been the sea of the red land. Some believe that the name comes from the Himyarite, a local group whose own name means red.

Another theory states that the name red refers to the direction south, just like the Black Sea's name refers to the north. The theory goes that some Asiatic languages used color words to refer to the cardinal directions such as the Greek historian Herodotus who uses "The Red Sea" and "Southern Sea" interchangeably at different times during his writings.

The Red Sea Location

The Red Sea is an inlet, a means of entry to the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. The red sea connection is to the ocean in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north are the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez which leads to the Suez Canal.. There are nine countries that share the shoreline of the Red Sea which are Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen Somalia, Israel, and Jordan. Each one is connected to the shores in a different direction such as:

Northern Shore:



Eastern Shore:
Saudi Arabia


Western Shore:



Southern Shore:


It is about 2200 km long and its width is 330 km. The Suez Canal connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and Bab El-Mandab which is why many ships go through the Red Sea. There are many Ports of the Red Sea like Jeddah, Suez, Safaga, Aqaba, Eilat, Port Sudan, and many more. The Sea is the home of more than 1000 different species of fish and 200 hard and soft corals. There are many countries next to the Red Sea such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and Israel.

The Economic Aspects of the Red Sea

Resources: There are five important types of resources in the Red Sea, which are Petroleum deposits, evaporate deposits, sulfur, phosphates, and heavy-metal deposits.

Navigation: It is difficult to navigate in the Red Sea. There are two channels that are kept open for shipping at Bab El-Mandab strait and Suez. The irregular water currents add to the navigational hazards.

Ecosystem and Marine Life

The Red Sea is known to be a rich and diverse ecosystem filled with more than 1,100 species of fish and 10% of this marine life are located in the red sea. The red sea includes around 42 species of deepwater fish.

The main reason behind the rich diversity is partly due to the 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of coral reefs that extend along its coastline. these incredible reefs date back to about 5000-7000 years which were formed of stony Acropora and porites corals. The Red Sea holds 175 species of nudibranch which can only be found there. These coastal reefs have up to 44 species of shark. Other aquatic creatures live in the red sea such as seagrass beds, salt pans, mangroves, and salt marshes.

The special biodiversity of the red sea is recognized and monitored by the Egyptian government, which set up the Ras Mohammed National Park in 1983. The main goal of all the rules and regulations of this place is for protecting local wildlife, and marine life. 

Interesting Facts About the Red Sea

Red Sea Facts - Egypt Tours Portal

  • The north part of the Red Sea is considered to be one of the seven underwater wonders of the world by CEDAM (Conservation Education Diving Awareness and Marine).
  • The Length of the red sea is 1,900 km (1,181 mi) which represents 79% of the eastern Red Sea with numerous coastal inlets.
  • The Maximum Width of the Red Sea is 306–354 km (190–220 mi).
  • The Minimum Width of the Red Sea is 26–29 km (16–18 mi).
  • The Average Width of the Red Sea is 280 km (174 mi).
  • The Average Depth of the Red Sea is 490 m (1,608 ft).
  • The Maximum Depth of the Red Sea is 2,850 m (9,350 ft).
  • The Surface Area of The Red Sea is 438-450 x 10² km² (16,900–17,400 sq mi).
  • The Volume of the Red Sea is 215–251 x 10³ km³ (51,600–60,200 cu mi).
  • Close to 40% of the Red Sea is very shallow (under 100 m/330 ft), and about 25 percent is under 50 m (164 ft) deep.
  • About 15% of the Red Sea is over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) depth that forms the deep axial trough shelf breaks are marked by coral reefs.
  • The Continental slope of The Red Sea has an irregular profile (series of steps down to ~500 m/1,640 ft).
  • The Center of the Red Sea has a narrow trough (~1,000 m/3,281 ft; some depths may exceed 2,500 m/8,202 ft).
  • It is home to over 1200 fish species and 250 different types of coral. 17% of the fish and 8% of the coral species are endemic.
  • It is the northernmost tropical sea in the world as its water crosses the tropic of cancer.
  • The land around this marvelous sea is one with incomparable marine life beauty which makes it one of a kind.
  • It’s home to about 25 islands including Tiran, Giftun, the islands of Brother, and many more.
  • Nine countries share the shoreline of the Red Sea such as Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen Somalia, Israel, and Jordan.
  • The maximum water temperature is 30 degrees Celsius and its minimum temperature is 20 degrees Celsius.

The Role of the Red Sea in Ancient Egypt

This fanciful sea played a crucial role in shaping the life and history of Ancient Egypt and changed the way people lived and thought through providing different facilities and possibilities such as Transportation: Sea transportation is much easier than land transportation that’s why civilizations that had direct access to water had the advantage as it facilitated in the trading of goods, technological achievements, and cultural ideas. The Red Sea helped Egypt to have access to Africa and the east part of the world. Stability: The stability of the geographical location is the thing that helped in the rise of Ancient Egyptian Civilization. It was the reason behind having a stable agricultural system. Without the Red Sea, Egypt would have been an isolated place and there won’t be any technological development and stability. Cultural Exchange: The Red Sea provided not only access to Africa and the east but also helped in exchanging things much further than goods. It helped the ancient Egyptians to exchange culture and knowledge with other civilizations and countries.

Why is the Red Sea Famous For?

  • The Red Sea is famous for its one-of-a-kind enchanting Diving spots.
  • It is the major spot for scuba diving and snorkeling which many tourists prefer to enjoy during their Egypt tours.
  • It has more than 1200 fish species that including 44 sharks, which makes it the best place to get into marine life.
  • The best diving spots in the Red Sea can be located in Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Sharm El-Sheikh, Thistlegorm Wreck, Dahab Blue Hole, the Brothers, Fury Shoals, and El-Phinstone Reef.
  • The World’s Fastest Fish: The fastest fish in the world "Sailfish" live in the Red Sea that swims at a speed of more than 68 miles per hour, which attracts tourists from all over the world to see such beauty.
  • Colorful Coral Reefs: Many of these gorgeous reefs are protected by the Egyptian government as part of Ras Mohammed National Park. These coral reefs stretch for more than 1240 miles along the coastline.
  • Lost Shipwrecks: Fish is not the only thing that you are going to see beneath the water of the Red Sea. There are many lost shipwrecks under there and the most famous one is the SS Thislegorm that was sunk because of the German bombers during World War II.
  • The Red Sea is surrounded by a number of marvelous resorts such as El Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alam, on the west shore of the Red Sea, and on the Egyptian side of Sinaï Sharm-el-Sheikh, Dahab, and Taba.

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