The Black Sea is an inland sea between Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor that is part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara, and to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch.
The Black Sea has an area of 422,000 km² and a maximum depth of 2,206 meters (7,237 feet) at the Euxine abyssal plain, in the center of the Black Sea, just south of Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula.
Temperature of the surface waters of the Black Sea varies seasonally from 8°C to 30°C, and the seaside resorts become crowded with tourists in the summer.
The coastline ranges from wetlands and small sandy beaches to uninhibited, inaccessible mountainous cliffs, narrow rocky stretches and lagoons.
It is agreed that in the past the Black Sea has been a freshwater lake. According to one theory a massive flood through the Bosporus occurred in ancient times (about 7,000 years ago) creating the current communication between the Black and Mediterranean Seas. Some believe the tale of the flood was passed down through the generations and eventually became the Noah's Ark story.
The name "Black Sea" was given by the Ancient Greek navigators because of the unusual dark color, compared with the Mediterranean Sea. One reason for the name is that the water turns really dark when the sea is stormy.
On a bright warm day the sea is calm and the water is crystal clear and blue. Black Sea is a natural playground and a home to a large variety of fish, sea creatures and Black Sea bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Russia Black Sea website features photographic images of a few coastal locations along the eastern northern part of the Black Sea.
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