The Black Sea

The Black Sea, so named by the Greeks, as the color black used to designate ‘north’.This is just one of many theories as to the naming of this vast body of water.Originally thought to be a massive lake, the melting of ice glaciers and the subsequent rise of water levels brought about a connection between the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas to the south with what is now known as the Black Sea.

This process occurred some eight thousand years ago and has resulted in an uncommon transference of water properties.Specifically, when the Mediterranean began its flow into the isolated lake, it brought with it a much higher saline content that was much denser than the fresh lake water it displaced.

In consequence, it left a diluted mix of fresh and salt water at the top.Over thousands of  years, great rivers like the Dnipro and the Danube poured organic material into the new sea.

Due to a lack of vertical currents, the inrush of organic material was too much for the bacteria that normally would have been able to be aerobically decomposed.This has resulted in the lower level of the sea, which accounts for about 87% of the body of water, being almost completely sterile due its’ being impregnated with hydrogen sulfide.

The high degree of hydrogen sulfide has prompted scientists to warn of an asteroid hitting this areawould likely cause widespread illness and death among the inhabitants in the numerous coastal villages lining the various shorelines.

Another peculiarity of the Black Sea is the two directional current which flows through the Bosphorus Straits and connects with the Mediterranean.The surface water flows westward through the straits into the Sea of Marmara while a deeper current flows simultaneously in the opposite direction, back into the Black Sea.

Pollution reduction and regulation efforts have led to a partial recovery of the Black Sea ecosystem during the 1990s.This was abetted by the EU and their regulating bodies that affected many of the countries that share this sea and hope for inclusion in the EU.Among these countries were Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Turkey and Romania.

Lastly, the popularity of the Black Sea as a tourist destination has been steadily increasing. Overall, tourism at Black Sea resorts has become one of the region's growth industries.Scuba diving, fishing, and boating rank high among the activities that are offered.

The Black Sea indeed has a remarkable story and not just since humans began recording history.  It is one of the more important bodies of water on the planet and with all of the various countries sharing it and using it for commerce in addition to its unique natural properties, the Black Sea shall remain pivotal in the evolution of Earth.

     As mass communication increases amongst all peoples, it will not be surprising to find that the acknowledgement of its specialness will become commonplace.