Bab-el-Mandeb

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Bathymetric map of the Red Sea with the Bab-el-Mandeb at the bottom right

The Bab-el-Mandeb, meaning "Gate of Grief" in Arabic, is a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea, north of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa, and connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It is sometimes called the Mandab Strait in the English language.

The strait gets its name from the dangers of travelling on it. Or, according to an Arab legend, from the numbers who were drowned by the earthquake which separated Asia and Africa.

Bab el-Mandab acts is an important link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. In 2006, about 3.3 million barrels (520,000 m3) of oil passed through the strait per day, out of a world total of about 43 million barrels per day (6,800,000 m3/d).[1]

The distance across is about 20 miles (30 km) from Ras Menheli in Yemen to Ras Siyan in Djibouti. The island of Perim divides the strait into two channels. The eastern channel, known as the Bab Iskender (Alexander's Strait), is 2 miles (3 km) wide and 16 fathoms (30 m) deep. The western channel, or Dact-el-Mayun, has a width of about 16 miles (25 km) and a depth of 170 fathoms (310 m). Near the coast of Djibouti is a group of smaller islands known as the "Seven Brothers".

References[change | edit source]

  1. World Oil Transit Chokepoints, Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy

Other websites[change | edit source]

Media related to Bab-el-Mandeb at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 12°35′N 43°20′E / 12.583°N 43.333°E / 12.583; 43.333