Establishing the origin of the name “Red Sea” with certainty is no easy matter. The great Greek historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus called in the 5 century BC, perhaps referring to the mythical king called Erythros, which in ancient greek means red. As the Greeks associated the south and the sun with the colour red it is also possible that the adjective red is connected to the southerly position of the sea. According to another theory the adjective red refers to the colour of the water which under particular conditions and in very limited areas takes on a reddish hue because of the proliferation of an alga called trischodesmium erythraeum. It is more likely the term red sea derives from the fact that its coasts are composed of rocks that often have a reddish colouration because of their high iron oxide content. It is interesting to note however that on old charts and medieval atlases the red sea is represented by a red colour and not by the typical blue colour of the seas.
The Red Sea in Figures.
Average width:300 km.
Average hygrometry:70% (in the morning)
Species of fish:1248.
Species of endemic fish:17%
Species of corals:250.
Species of endemic coral:8%
SINAI DIVING GUIDE.ISBN 978-88-87177-65-7