Mediterranean Sea

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There are no islands in the Mediterranean Sea, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely surrounded by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a sea channel that runs through the Mediterranean Basin. When it comes to the history of Western civilisation, the sea has played a crucial role. Despite the fact that the Mediterranean Sea is occasionally referred to as a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is more commonly referred to as a distinct water body. Based on geography evidence indicates that the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic around 5.9 million years ago, and that it was partially or completely desiccated over a period of approximately 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood around 5.3 million years ago.

Even so, despite the fact that the Mediterranean Sea covers an area of approximately 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi), accounting for 0.7 percent of the world's ocean surface, its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar—the narrow strait that separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea—is only 14 kilometres (9 miles) wide. Whenever it relates to oceanography, it is sometimes referred to as the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea, the European Mediterranean Sea, or the African Mediterranean Sea to differentiate it from other mediterranean seas.