If you are reading this article on Aegean Sea facts, we will assume that you either need it for your school project or you just want to get some knowledge. Irrespective of the motive, this article is going to fulfill the purpose.
So, without wasting time any further, let us dig in and find out some fascinating facts about the Aegean Sea. Ready?
Aegean Sea Facts: 1-10
1. The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the famous Mediterranean Sea [Embayment is a recess in the coastline forming a bay].
2. The sea is located right between Turkey and Greece.
3. There are 1400+ islands and islets in the Aegean Sea. The ancient Greeks inhabited these islands.
4. Santorini (aka Thira or Thera) is the most famous island in the Aegean Sea. It is also the one that is most photographed.
5. Crete or Kriti is the island that takes the crown of being the largest island in the sea.
6. These two islands, that is, Crete and Santorini are specially mentioned because of their strong connections with Greek Mythology as well as ancient history.
7. The myth of Theseus and Minotaur significantly features Crete.
8. Santorini was most likely destroyed by a volcanic eruption and that probably became the source for Plato’s description of the fabled Atlantis. The description given by Plato can be found in the dialogues of Timaeus and Critias.
9. The distance of Crete from Greece and Turkey is nearly equal. The shape of Crete is elongated.
10. Many of the islands in the Aegean Sea are actually extensions of the mountains that lie in the mainlands
Aegean Sea Facts: 11-20
11. Many islands in the Aegean Sea are of volcanic origin. Many are rocky and barren while some others are only used for mining iron and marble.
12. The current coastline of the sea is 6000 years old. It dates back to 4000 BCE. Before that, the sea was 130 meters lower!
13. The Aegean islands are segregated into 7 different groups. These groups are:
- The Thracian Sea group.
- The East Aegean group.
- The Northern Sporades.
- The Cyclades.
- The Saronic Islands or Agro-Saronic Islands.
- The Dodecanese (Southern Sporades).
- The Crete.
14. The straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles connects the Aegean Sea with the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea in the north.
15. A few islands delimit the Aegean Sea on the south. Those islands are Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Kasos, Kythera, and Antikythera.
16. In some South Slavic languages, the Aegean Sea is referred to as the White Sea. [Learn about the actual White Sea here.]
17. It is believed that the Aegean Sea is named after Aegae – a Greek town.
18. Another theory says that the Aegean Sea is named after Aegea – a queen of the Amazons who died in the Aegean Sea.
19. There is yet another ancient theory which states that the name came from Aigaion – the “Sea Goat,” another name of Briareus, who among the Athenians was known as Aegeus. Aegeus was the father of Theseus. Aegeus drowned himself in the sea when he thought that his son Theseus died during the expedition to Crete to defeat Minotaur.
20. It is possible that the name of the Aegeon is derived from the Greek word αἶγες (aiges), which means ‘waves.’
Aegean Sea Facts: 21-30
21. The Aegean Sea is the one upon which the thousand Greek ships sailed to reach Troy in order to rescue Helen.
22. The Aegean Sea and the Bronze Age civilizations gave birth to the general term – Aegean civilization.
23. The Aegean Sea was the birthplace of two ancient civilizations. They were the Myceneans of the Peloponnese and the Minoans of Crete.
24. The Minoans of Crete developed on Crete and the other Aegean Islands. The civilization flourished between 2000 BCE and 1450 BCE. It was Europe’s first advanced civilization.
25. The Myceneans rose at around 1700 BCE, shortly before the decline of Minoans in 1450 BCE. The Myceneans became mainland Greece’s first advanced civilization.
26. The Mycenean civilization came to an end after the Bronze Age culture collapsed in the eastern Mediterranean somewhere around 1200 BCE. After the collapse of the Mycenean civilization came the Greek Dark Ages.
27. The Myceneans heavily relied on the Aegean Sea for trade and they traveled as far as Egypt and Spain.
29. The commercial trade through the Aegean Sea route made the Myceneans very rich but again, the same waters also became the reason for their downfall.
30. Most likely the mysterious Sea Peoples who ravaged Anatolia and Egypt also invaded the Myceneans.
The Sea Peoples harrassed the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Greeks, and the Canaanites (of the Phoenicians). The Sea Peoples eventually settled along the coast of Canaan and took the name Philistines.
Aegean Sea Facts: 31-40
31. The Aegean Sea was traditionally known as ‘Archipelago,’ which means ‘main sea’ or ‘chief sea’ in Greek. In modern English, however, archipelago refers to the Aegean Islands and more generally, any group of islands.
32. In the South Aegean Sea, there is a chain of volcanic islands. They are together known as the South Aegean Volcanic Arc.
33. The South Aegean Volcanic Arc’s active portion is home to many dormant as well as historically active volcanoes. Some of the famous volcanoes are Yali, Nisyros, Kolumbo, Kos, Santorini, Aegina, Methana, and Milos.
34. In the past 100 years only Santorini, Nisyros, and Kolumbo were active.
35. The Aegean Sea covers an area of 83,000 square miles or 214,000 square kilometers.
36. The maximum length of the Aegean Sea is 430 miles or 700 kilometers and the maximum width of the sea is 250 miles or 400 kilometers.
37. The Aegean Sea was analyzed between 1991 and 1992 and it was found that the sea has three distinct water masses. They are:
- Aegean Sea Surface Water that reaches a depth of 40 to 50 meters from the sea surface.
- Aegean Sea Intermediate Water that remains below the Surface Water and extends from a depth of 40 to 50 meets to 200 to 300 meters.
- Aegean Sea Bottom Water that remains below the Intermediate Water. It can be found at the depths below 500 meters to 1000 meters.
38. The Aegean Sea is home to a wide range of marine fauna. Some of the commonest sea animals found in the Aegean Sea are seals, sea turtles, whales, and dolphins.
39. Sharks are pretty rare in the Aegean Sea. Those that are caught by fishermen are less-dangerous ones and include thresher sharks, basking sharks, and dogfish (also known as mud shark).
40. Scorpionfish and jellyfish found in the Aegean Sea are far more dangerous than sharks.
Aegean Sea Facts: 41-50
41. Some large islands in the Aegean Sea have extremely fertile lands. They produce wine, wheat, raisins, vegetables, oil, olive, mastic, minerals, figs, and honey.
42. In his book ‘Phaedo,’ Plato referred to the Greeks living on the Aegean Sea islands as ‘frogs around a pond.’
43. The Aegean Sea has many important harbors. Some of the most important ones are Güllük Port, İzmir Harbor, Port of Volos, Port of Chania, Port of Heraklion, Port of Piraeus, Port of Thessaloniki, etc.
44. In 1820, all islands and all shores of the Aegean Sea belonged to the infamous Ottoman Empire.
45. The maximum depth of the Aegean Sea is 11,624 feet or 3,543 meters on the east of Crete.
46. The Aegean Sea has a predominantly Mediterranean climate – drier and hotter during summers and wetter and milder during winters.
47. There is something called “the Aegean dispute.” It is a dispute between Turkey and Greece over sovereignty and several related rights over the Aegean Sea area.
48. The rocks that make up the floor of the Aegean Sea are primarily limestone.
49. The erstwhile Ottoman Empire maintained its presence over the Aegean Sea for 500 years until the empire was dissolved after World War I ended.
50. There are several seas that are contained within the Aegean Sea. They are the Thracian Sea, Sea of Crete, Myrtoan Sea, and the Icarian Sea.
That concludes our list of 50 Aegean Sea facts. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and found it to be beneficial. If you think we have missed anything, drop us a message and we will add the information to our list.