A strait is a narrow channel of water that separates two land masses, and connect two water body. It may also mean a narrow channel of water which is navigable, in a body of water which is otherwise unpassable.
The terms strait, channel, passage, sound and firth can be synonymous, but each is sometimes used with a slight difference of meaning.
Many straits are economically important. Straits may lie on important shipping routes, and someone who controls a strait can control the shipping. Wars have been fought for control of these straits. Many artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land.
Although rivers and canals often form a bridge between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, they are not usually referred to as straits. Straits are typically much larger, wider structures that do not have water running in a single direction, and normally connect two seas.
Well-known straits[change | change source]
Well-known straits in the world are:
- Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean and the Black Sea
- Strait of Dover, between England and France, which connects the North Sea with the English Channel
- Strait of Gibraltar, the only natural passage between the World Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea
- Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia, which connects the Pacific and Arctic Oceans
- Strait of Magellan, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans north of Tierra del Fuego
- Palk strait, between India and Sri Lanka, the location of Ram Sethu and rich in natural resources
- Strait of Hormuz connecting the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, through which Persian Gulf petroleum is shipped to the world
- Strait of Malacca, which separates the Malay Peninsula from Sumatra, and connects the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. (It is one of the highest-volume shipping lanes in the world.)
- Bass Strait, which is between mainland Australia and Tasmania, and connects the Indian Ocean with the Pacific Ocean.
- Torres Strait which is between Australia and New Guinea.
- Cook Strait, between New Zealand's North and South Islands, and connects the Tasman Sea and the South Pacific Ocean.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Straits.|