The Red Sea Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Is the Red Sea really the color red? Where is it located? Find out the answers to these and other questions as you read this lesson about this salty body of water.

Is the Red Sea Red?

Sometimes names can be confusing. For example, we don't really drive on a driveway, we park on it. But we do drive on a parkway, which is another name for a highway! Another example is the Red Sea, which is located between Africa and Asia. Despite its name, it's not red!

The Red Sea is not red.
redsea1

Most of the time, the Red Sea is a bright bluish-green color. Sometimes lots of a type of algae grows there. This algae, which is like a water plant, makes the water look a reddish-brown, sort of rusty color. That's as red as the sea ever gets.

A Saltwater Sea

The Red Sea stated forming about 20-30 million years ago. Its water came from the Indian Ocean. Unlike many seas, the Red Sea gets no water from rivers. Because of this, the water in the Red Sea is very salty. It's actually some of the saltiest water on the Earth.

The climate in this area of the world is very hot and sunny. Because there isn't much rain, there are often dust storms in the deserts that border the Red Sea. Sometimes, the dust storms will actually blow across the surface of the sea! Because of the climate, the water in the Red Sea is very warm.

A Red Sea dust storm seen from above.
storm

The Red Sea is rather large. It's about 1,200 miles long and over 190 miles wide at its widest point. Although it's shallow near the shore, the deepest part of the Red Sea is about 8,200 feet deep!

How Do I Get In?

There are three ways to enter the Red Sea by boat. You can go through the Gulf of Aden and travel through the Bab el Mandeb, which is a strait. A strait is a narrow body of water that connects two other bodies of water. You can also get into the Red Sea by sailing through the Gulf of Aqaba.

A coral reef in the Red Sea
reef

Many ships use the Red Sea to reach the Suez Canal. A canal is like a man-made strait; it connects two bodies of water. Ships traveling through the Mediterranean Sea can sail through the Suez Canal and into the Gulf of Suez. The Gulf of Suez then flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

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