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Is the Red Sea Really Red?

The color of the Red Sea is normally an intense turquoise. (Image credit: Dreamstime)

For ship captains, its known for its violent storms, as well as reefs and submerged islands, which can make it treacherous to navigate. To the rest of us, the Red Sea is one of the warmest, saltiest, and possibly reddest seas around. But does this body of water that extends from the Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba south to the Indian Ocean really glisten a rosy hue?

Not really. So where did it get its catchy name?

Occasionally, the sea becomes filled with blooms of cyanobacteria algae, called trichodesmium erythraeum, which, upon dying, turn the usually blue-green water, reddish-brown. The color is not intense and is said to vary across the expansive body of water.

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