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Definition: Sargasso Sea from Philip's Encyclopedia

Area of calm, barely moving water in the N Atlantic between the West Indies and the Azores, which takes its name from the large quantities of floating seaweed (Sargassum) covering its surface.


Summary Article: Sargasso Sea
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(särgăs'ō), part of the N Atlantic Ocean, lying roughly between the West Indies and the Azores and from about lat. 20°N to lat. 35°N, in the horse latitudes. The relatively still sea is the center of a great swirl of ocean currents known as the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, and is a rich field for the marine biologist. It is noted for the abundance of gulfweed (Sargassum species; see seaweed) on its surface. The thick masses of gulfweed are home to a distinctive and specialized group of marine forms specifically adapted to their environment, and are a nursery for young migratory sea turtles. The sea is also the spawning ground for eels, dolphin fish (or dorado), and other fish. The Bermuda islands are in the northwestern part of the sea.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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