The Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco and which country?
And the answer: Spain.    
Photo credit: NASA. 

The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow waterway that separates not only Spain and Morocco but also Europe and Africa as a whole. With its division between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar served as the only access point to the Mediterranean Sea until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

The Strait of Gibraltar has a direct impact on global trade. As one of the busiest waterways in the world, more than 120,000 major vessels pass through the Strait every year, with countless smaller boats and yachts making use of the route as well. Importantly, access to trade areas along the Mediterranean Sea and the interior of Europe is made possible by the Strait. If it was blockaded, the global maritime trade would come to a grinding halt.

The Strait of Gibraltar is also a geological landmark, as it is where the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. Since the Mediterranean Sea is generally much saltier than ocean waters, its waters are much more dense. Thus, when water pours from the Atlantic into the Strait, the salty, denser water is pushed below, creating a visible line of distinction. This convergence is known as a chemical transition boundary, or halocline.

As the currents from the Atlantic flow into the Mediterranean, various species of whales and dolphins are also brought into the sea. Orcas, Fin Whales, Pilot Whales, and other species of whale are known to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar during certain periods of the year, alongside the Bottlenose Dolphin, Striped Dolphin, and others. This abundance of marine life is due to the rapid ocean flow, where waves are created at the mouth of the straits to form currents. These currents then bring different species from other regions to Gibraltar.

Did you know?

The Strait of Gibraltar was actually formed by two meteoric impacts that created a gradual but deep crater in the region. Over time, flowing water eroded this narrow protrusion until the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters converged.



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