This article on facts about Black Sea will try to cover everything about the sea that we skipped in our first article. In our last article, we learned why black sea is called black sea. We also learned about its geographic location, its connection with Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Azov. We learned how water circulates in the Black Sea and that the sea has two distinct layers of water that don’t mix with each other.
So basically, we learned about the naming of Black Sea and its Hydrology in our previous article. We answered two very important questions:
- Why is Black Sea called Black Sea?
- Is Black Sea salt water or fresh?
About the second question – Black Sea is salt water but heavy or high salinity is at greater depths than the surface level. Surface level has low salinity because of huge influx of fresh water from multiple rivers.
Read our previous article on Black Sea here.
Now the question is, what will we learn in this article?
Here are the few things we are going to cover:
- Is Black Sea toxic?
- Does Black Sea support life?
- What are the different animal species we find in Black Sea?
- Why do the organic matter that sink in Black Sea stay preserved?
- Biblical importance if any.
- What are the different names of Black Sea?
Combined with our previous list of Black Sea facts, these should be enough for you to score A+ in your school project. So, let’s get started!
Facts About Black Sea: 1-5
1. We start with this question – [highlight]Is Black Sea Toxic[/highlight]? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. The answer is both YES and NO. Modeling of the sea has shown that at the depths of 180 meters and beyond, where you find the high saline water, there is hydrogen sulfide. Yes, that is toxic and that is the reason why, marine lives do not exist at that depth.
2. In shallower depths, that is above 180 meters, there is no hydrogen sulfide and this is where all the marine life forms thrive in Black Sea.
3. Also, the reason why life cannot thrive in greater depths of the sea is that the water is anoxic. We discussed this in our previous article. It is worth reading. Go through it.
4. [highlight]Can you swim in Black Sea?[/highlight] Don’t worry! It is not going to bite you. As we mentioned, it only gets toxic if you happen to reach the depths of the Black Sea. You really can’t swim all the way down to 180 meters, can you? And remember, there’s life in the top layer of water. So, if they can thrive, you can swim!
5. Here is a brilliant and really surprising Black Sea fact: [highlight]Organic matter and anthropogenic artifacts like boat hull that sink all the way down to the depths of Black Sea, stay preserved[/highlight]. The reason is simple! For them to decompose, there has to be oxygen that can be used by microbes. The water down below is anoxic (devoid of dissolved oxygen) and hence, such matter don’t decompose.
Facts About Black Sea: 6-10
6. Did we mention why the water at such depths is anoxic? Well, it is not that organic matter (that sink in Black Sea) do not decompose or decay at all. They do but, at a very slow rate and whatever oxygen is there is used up, making the water anoxic. This further slows down decaying of organic matter and hence, we see well-preserved organic matter and anthropogenic artifacts.
7. Deep sea expeditions in Black Sea have turned some well-preserved ancient artifacts like Byzantine shipwreck, boat hulls, settlement remains and more. No wonder, Black Sea has received some attention from marine archaeologists.
8. Actually, quite large amounts of organic matter reach the bottom of Black Sea and they get accumulated in sediments. The concentration of organic matter in sediments at the bottom of Black Sea is a whopping 20%. These kinds of sediments actually have a name. They are called sapropel.
9. Talking of Hydrogen Sulfide, where does it come from? We said that at the depths of 180 meters and beyond (that is 600 feet and beyond), there is no oxygen or very little oxygen. Nothing lives there. BUT, we didn’t mention that [highlight]there are some extremophile microorganisms down there[/highlight]. [highlight]These microbes make use of sulfate and oxidize organic material. In the process, they end up producing Hydrogen Sulfide[/highlight] (H2S) [highlight]and Carbon Dioxide[/highlight] (CO2) [highlight]as byproducts[/highlight]. This is how Hydrogen Sulfide is formed in Black Sea.
10. Scientists have something interesting to say about the Hydrogen Sulfide. In case, the scientists say, an asteroid lands in Black Sea, it can cause serious problems. The Hydrogen Sulfide will be released in form of clouds and it can threaten the life of people and animals that live around Black Sea.