List of seas

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Baku on the Caspian Sea

The word sea can, aside from referring to the World Ocean, also mean a specific, much smaller body of water, such as the North Sea or the Red Sea. There is no sharp distinction between a sea in this sense and an ocean, though seas are generally smaller, and are often partly (as marginal seas) or wholly (as inland seas) bordered by land.[1] However, the Sargasso Sea has no coastline and lies within a circular current, the North Atlantic Gyre. It is a distinctive body of water with brown Sargassum seaweed and calm blue water, very different from the rest of the Atlantic Ocean.[2][3] Seas are generally larger than lakes, and contain salt water rather than freshwater, but some geographic entities known as "seas" are enclosed inland bodies of water that are not salty: for instance, the Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake.[3][lower-alpha 1] The Law of the Sea states that all of the ocean is "sea".[7][8][9][lower-alpha 2]

List of the world's seas
Atlantic Ocean Arctic Ocean Southern Ocean Indian Ocean Pacific Ocean Landlocked Seas
  • * Proposed names to the IHO 2002 draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain these names which mostly originated from 1962 onward) remains currently in force.[12] Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use these names, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-issued state maps do include them.[13][14]

See also


  1. "What's the difference between an ocean and a sea?". 11 January 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Stow, 2004. p. 90
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Names for Water Bodies". 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-19. A sea can also be attached to, or even part of, an ocean. For example, the Caspian Sea is a large saline lake surrounded by land, the Mediterranean Sea is attached to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Sargasso Sea is a portion of the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by water.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Conforti, B; Bravo, Luigi Ferrari (2005-12-30). "The Italian Yearbook of International Law 2004". ISBN 9789004150270. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Karleskint, George; Turner, Richard L; Small, James W (2009-01-02). "Introduction to Marine Biology". ISBN 9780495561972. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. The Glossary of the Mapping Sciences - Google Books. 1994. ISBN 9780784475706. Retrieved 2013-04-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Vukas, B (2004). Caspian Sea id=sbqBvQy04XwC&pg=PA271#v=onepage&q&f=true "The Law of the Sea: Selected Writings" Check |url= value (help). ISBN 9789004138636. Missing pipe in: |url= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Gupta, Manoj (2010). "Indian Ocean Region: Maritime Regimes for Regional Cooperation". ISBN 9781441959898. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Seven Seas - Discover The Seven Seas of the Earth". Retrieved 2013-04-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Gokay, Bulent (2001-04-07). "The Politics of Caspian Oil". ISBN 9780333739730. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 often treated as part of Mediterranean Sea
  12. "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd (currently in-force) edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 5 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. [1]
  14. [2]


  1. There is no accepted technical definition of sea amongst oceanographers. A rather weak definition is that a sea is a sub-division of an ocean, which means that it must have oceanic basin crust on its floor. This definition for example accepts the Caspian, which was once part of an ancient ocean, as a sea.[4] The Introduction to Marine Biology defines a sea as a "land-locked" body of water, adding that the term "sea" is only one of convenience, but the book is written by marine biologists, not oceanographers.[5] The Glossary of Mapping Sciences similarly states that the boundaries between seas and other bodies of water are arbitrary.[6]
  2. According to this definition, the Caspian would be excluded as it is legally an "international lake".[10]
Lists of bodies of water
List of... Lists of... Category
Lists of rivers Category:Lists of rivers
List of lakes Lists of lakes Category:Lists of lakes
List of waterways Lists of waterways
List of reservoirs and dams Lists of reservoirs and dams Category:Lists of dams
Lists of canals Category:Lists of canals
List of straits
List of seas