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Facts about the Caribbean Sea for Kids


The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, to the east by the Lesser Antilles, and to the south by South America.

  • The entire area of the Caribbean Sea, the numerous islands of the West Indies, and adjacent coasts, are collectively known as the Caribbean.
  • The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonâve, Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Darién, Golfo de los Mosquitos, Gulf of Paria and Gulf of Honduras.
  • The name “Caribbean” is derived from the Caribs, one of the dominant American Indian groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late 15th century.
  • After the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Spanish term Antillas was assigned to the lands; stemming from this, “Sea of the Antilles” is a common alternative name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.
  • The Caribbean Sea was an unknown body of water to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus first sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia.
  • Following the colonization of the Caribbean islands, the Caribbean Sea became a busy area for European-based marine trading and transport, and this commerce eventually attracted piracy.
  • Today the area is home to 22 island territories and borders 12 continental countries.
  • Due to the abundance of sunshine, year-round tropical temperatures moderated by the almost constant trade winds, and the great variety of scenic destinations to visit, during the second half of the 20th century on into the 21st, the Caribbean Sea became a popular place for tourism.
  • The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Caribbean Sea as follows: In the Yucatan Channel.
  • In the Mona Passage – a line joining Cape Engano and the extreme of Agujereada in Puerto Rico.
  • Atlantic Ocean enters the Caribbean through the Anegada Passage lying between the Lesser Antilles and Virgin Islands and the Windward Passage located between Cuba and Haiti.
  • The Caribbean sea floor is also home to two oceanic trenches: the Hispaniola Trench and Puerto Rico Trench, which put the area at a higher risk of earthquakes.
  • List of islands in the Caribbean The Caribbean is home to about 9% of the world’s coral reefs covering about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km), most of which are located off the Caribbean Islands and the Central American coast.
  • These plants provide food for the corals, and give them their color.
  • Continued destruction of the reefs could severely damage the region’s economy.
  • A Protocol of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region came in effect in 1986 to protect the various endangered marine life of the Caribbean through forbidding human activities that would advance the continued destruction of such marine life in various areas.
  • The tropical storms can develop into Atlantic hurricanes, often in the low pressure areas of the eastern Caribbean.
  • Human activity in the area also accounts for a significant amount of pollution, The Pan American Health Organization estimated in 1993 that only about 10% of the sewage from the Central American and Caribbean Island countries is properly treated before being released into the Sea.