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Where is the Black Sea?

The Black Sea is located in southeastern Europe, bordered by Ukraine to the north, Russia to the northeast, Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west. It’s connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosporus Strait. The Black Sea covers an area of about 436,400 km2 (168,500 sq mi) and has a maximum depth of over 2200 meters (7245 ft).

Brief History

The Black Sea has a rich history dating back thousands of years. It was an important body of water in the Greek and Roman empires for trade and conquest. In the Middle Ages, powers like the Byzantine Empire, Genoa, and Venice struggled for control of Black Sea ports and trade routes. The Ottoman Empire later dominated the region for centuries until its decline in the 19th century. After World War I, the Black Sea came under the influence of the Soviet Union. Today, it remains geopolitically significant as the maritime border between Europe and Asia.

Location and Geography

The Black Sea is an inland sea located between southeastern Europe and western Asia. Here are some key details about its geography and location:

  • Surrounded by 6 countries: Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosporus Strait, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles Strait
  • Eastern Europe coast: Ukraine, Russia, Georgia
  • Western Asia coast: Turkey
  • Southeastern Europe coast: Bulgaria, Romania
  • Approximate latitude: between 40°N and 46°N
  • Approximate longitude: between 27°E and 41°E
  • Area: 436,400 km2 (168,500 sq mi)
  • Length: 1,175 km (730 mi) from west to east
  • Width: 615 km (380 mi) from north to south
  • Maximum depth: over 2,200 m (7,200 ft)
  • Volume: 547,000 km3 (131,000 cu mi)
  • Drainage basin area: 2.2 million km2 (850,000 sq mi)

So in summary, the Black Sea sits between southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, surrounded by Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. It connects to the Mediterranean through the Turkish Straits but is otherwise an enclosed sea.

Major Cities on the Black Sea

Here are some of the major cities located along the shores of the Black Sea:

City Country
Odessa Ukraine
Sevastopol Ukraine
Sochi Russia
Novorossiysk Russia
Batumi Georgia
Trabzon Turkey
Samsun Turkey
Constanta Romania
Varna Bulgaria

Many of these cities gained prominence in ancient and medieval times as Black Sea ports and trading centers. Today, they continue to be important commercial and industrial hubs in their respective countries.

Significance of the Black Sea

The Black Sea has long held economic, strategic and cultural importance for surrounding nations and empires:

  • Major fishing industry supplying food and livelihoods for millennia
  • Abundant natural resources like oil, natural gas and minerals
  • Strategic location connecting Europe, Middle East and Central Asia
  • Important maritime trade routes between east and west since ancient times
  • Geopolitical significance as the border between Europe and Asia, NATO and Russia
  • Tourism and resort destinations with mild climate along sunny coasts
  • Inspiration for art, folklore and literature celebrating the sea
  • Catalyst for conflict and rivalry between regional powers over centuries

Even today, Black Sea resources, shipping lanes and access remain vital economic and security interests for surrounding nations. The sea continues to shape regional geopolitics and development.

Wildlife and Ecology

The Black Sea supports a range of marine ecosystems and habitats:

  • Over 160 fish species, including commercial species like anchovy, sprat and sturgeon
  • Marine mammals like bottlenose dolphins, harbor porpoises and grey seals
  • Seabirds like gulls, terns, ducks, grebes and loons
  • Wide diversity of benthic organisms on the sea floor like crabs, mollusks and sea anemones
  • Plankton, algae and aquatic plants nourish the food chain
  • Endangered species like monk seals and sturgeon
  • Invasive species arrived via ships, impacting native ecosystems
  • Occasional algal blooms and zones of low oxygen from pollution

While parts of the Black Sea remain ecologically rich, pollution and overfishing have also taken their toll. Conservation efforts seek to study and protect the diversity of Black Sea life.


In summary, the Black Sea is a crucial geopolitical, economic and ecological region in southeastern Europe. It has been a vital maritime crossroads between cultures for millennia. The sea provides key resources and habitats, though care must be taken to balance human needs and environmental health. Understanding the geography, history and significance of the Black Sea provides wider insight into Europe’s relationship with neighboring regions in the Middle East, Eurasia and beyond.