Enjoy the swimming in seawater, but do not become reckless!

The bottom of sea at coastline sometimes tends to be fluid due to fierce winds, so do not be reckless and assess your abilities! 

About the Baltic Sea:

  • coastline – 8000 km.
  • the total area is ~377,000 km² and it is as large as the area of Japan.
  • the highest waves – 10 meters high, but usually do not exceed three meters height.
  • the deepest place – 459 meters, but on average – 55 meters deep.

The Baltic Sea is the youngest on our planet – its age is estimated to be only about 4000 years. 9 countries are located by this sea and about 90 million people live by it.

It tends to freeze in winter

Due to the passive exchange of water with the ocean, this sea is the largest natural reservoir of saltish water in the world. When you lie in the warm beach sand and enjoy the summer sun it may be hard to imagine, but the Baltic Sea often tends to freeze in winter. It can freeze completely! One of the reasons (besides the harsh winter) is the less salty sea water. It has happened 20 times since 1720, but last time this was recorded in 1987. In the north of the Baltic Sea, they are used to make ice roads for traffic among the islands there in winter. Shipping traffic has become so intense and it is doubtful that this would ever be possible nowadays, but it is peculiar that in the 70s of the 19th century people sleighed along the frozen sea from Courland all the way to the Swedish island of Gotland. 

One sea – different names

The oldest graphic source where the modern Latvia territory had been depicted on the map of Eastern Europe was created by the ancient Roman scientist Claudius Ptolomy. Here the Baltic Sea is named Mare Sarmaticvm. The approximate age of the map is 2000 years. The place name “Baltic Sea” or in Latin “Mare Balticum” was first mentioned in the 11th century, the German chronicler – Adam from Bremen used this term. He mentions in his writings that this is how the sea is called by the people living on its shore. Nowadays, the origin of the word “Balticum” used by Adam is still not very clear. One of the most popular versions is the Indo-European word “bhel”. The root of this word has survived to this day in several languages of Indo-European origin, including Latvian and it means “white”. It is peculiar that the only Germanic language which uses Baltic in the name of the sea is English (Baltic Sea). In other Germanic languages, it is referred to as the East Sea (e.g., German – Ostsee, Swedish – Östersjön or Dutch Oostzee). For Estonians, it is the Läänemeri or Western Sea, while for the Finns it is itämeri or the Eastern Sea, ignoring the fact that it is located in the west of the country – the Swedish version has taken over.


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