Mediterranean Sea


Museum of Natural History of Mediterranean Sea, Livorno


Mediterranean Sea was important for the development of ancient society; it was sailed by boats, useful for fishing and it was theatre of many battles and commercial exchanges.

It is not, as it might seem, a closed sea; instead it is connected on the West Side, through Gibraltar Strait, with Atlantic Ocean; on the East Side, through Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara, with Black Sea, it is eventually connected with Red Sea through Suez Channel. However, these passage ways are not sufficient for a quick exchange of the deep water of the Mediterranean Sea: it takes about 100 years to completely renew its water. From hundreds years this Sea is full of wastes produced by big coast cities and coming from rivers. Clearly, it is necessary to reduce any form of pollution that lately lead to unhealthy coasts and less fishing water.

In the Mediterranean Sea live most of the main groups of sea animals: in the deepest places, it is even possible to find dolphins, whales, turtles and many other animals. Regarding vegetal species, there is Neptune Grass/Mediterranean tape weed: it is a plant that re – adapted (itself) to sea life and that only grows in the Mediterranean Sea, creating submarine prairie. These are used by living organisms as source of nourishment and as shelters and it eventually creates a rich and characteristic ecosystem of this Sea. Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a particular climate: during summer, it is not common to find rainy days and temperatures are high; winters are cold and it is common to find rainy days. These climatic characteristics also influence coast ecosystem, also known as Mediterranean Spot. Here, cultivations of citrus, vine, olive and cereals, coming from Middle East, are very common.