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Red Sea

Red Sea Egyptians were the first to attempt a mission of exploration in the Red Sea.The Bible, in the book of Exodus, famously tells the story of how Moses leads the Israelites across its headwaters, (presumably the Reed Sea which has since disappeared because of the Suez Canal water diversion) to freedom, by using the powers of God to part the waters.

There is no extant archaeological evidence to support this claim. It was a Greek sailor, Hippalus, who conferred an international dimension upon the Red Sea in his manifesto on the voyage of the Eritrea Sea and thus opened it up to an immense and exclusive trade with Asia. It was only from the 15th century onwards that Europe began to show interest in this area. In 1798, France charged General Bonaparte with invading Egypt and capturing the Red Sea.

Although he failed in his mission, the engineer J.B. Lepere, who took part in it revitalised the plan for a canal which had been envisaged during the reign of the Pharaohs. The Suez Canal was opened in November 1869. At the time, the British, French, and Italians shared the trading posts.

The posts were gradually dismantled following the First World War. After the Second World War, the Americans and Soviets exerted their influence whilst the volume of oil tanker traffic intensified. However, the Six Day War culminated in the closure of the Suez Canal from 1967 to 1975. Still today, in spite of patrols by the major maritime fleets in the waters of the Red Sea, the Suez Canal has never recovered its supremacy over the Cape route, which is believed tobe less vulnerable.

Red Sea Name

The name of the sea does not indicate the color of the water since it is not red. It may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-colored cyanobacteria Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water surface. Some suggest that it refers to the mineral-rich red mountains nearby which are called Harei Edom . Edom, meaning "ruddy complexion", is also 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 Red Sea.[citation needed]Another hypothesis is that the name comes from the Himyarite, a local group whose own name means red.

Yet another theory favored by some modern scholars is the name red is referring to the direction south, the same way the Black Sea's name may refer to north. The basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used color words to refer to the cardinal directions.

Red Sea Life Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably.[1]A final theory suggests that it was named so because it borders the Egyptian Desert which the ancient Egyptians called the Dashret or "red land"; therefore it would have been the sea of the red land.

The association of the Red Sea with the Biblical account of the Exodus, in particular in the Passage of the Red Sea, goes back to the Septuagint translation of the book of Exodus from Hebrew into Koine, in which Hebrew Yam suph , meaning Reed Sea, is translated as Erythra Thalassa (Red Sea). Yam Suph is also
the name for the Red Sea in modern Hebrew.

Red Sea Life

The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1100 species of fish[2] have been recorded in the red sea, and around 10% of these are found nowhere else.[3] This also includes around 75 species of deepwater fish.[2] The rich diversity is in part due to the 2000 km of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000-7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals.

The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders (such as the blue hole at Dahab).

Red Sea Coral and Marine Fish

These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of red sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark. The special biodiversity of the area is recognised by the Egyptian government, who set up the Ras Mohammed National Park in 1983.

The rules and regulations governing this area area protect local wildlife, which has become a major draw for tourists, in particular for diving enthusiasts.Divers and snorkellers should be aware that although most Red Sea species are innocuous, a few are hazardous to humans. Other marine habitats include sea grass beds, salt pans, mangroves and salt marshes.

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