The White Sea is located in the European part of the Russian Federation and belongs to the Arctic Ocean. This is one of the smallest seas washing the shores of Russia, only the Sea of Azov is smaller than the White Sea. The total area of the White Sea is 90, 800 square kilometers, which is approximately equal to the territory of a state like Portugal.
11 interesting facts about the White Sea
- The average depth of the White Sea is 67 meters, and the greatest is 343 meters. It is interesting that Lake Baikal is three times smaller in area than the White Sea, but the total volume of water in Lake Baikal is 5 times larger. Despite the fact that Beloe mine is rather modest in size, storms often occur here, during which the wave height can reach 6 meters, and the wind speed often exceeds 30 meters per second.
- Eastern Slavs knew this sea at least 1, 000 years ago. For Novgorodians, it was an excellent waterway, and the shores of the White Sea were surrounded by forests rich in fur animals. From the 15th to the 18th centuries The White Sea connected the Russian state with Western Europe. Only with the construction of St. Petersburg, the transport role of the White Sea began to decline. The White Sea has always belonged to Russia, and has never been on the territory of any other state.
- Why was this sea named White? The thing is that for about six months this sea is bound by ice, from which it is released only at the beginning of May. In the central part of the sea, the average ice thickness is 30-40 centimeters, but in the most severe winters it can reach one meter. Even in summer, the water temperature is just over 10 degrees. The Slavs also called the White Sea Cold, Northern and even Calm. Most of the White Sea is located beyond the Arctic Circle.
- The 17th century English traveler Richard James, who visited Russia at one time, was of a different opinion. James argued that the sea got its name from the beluga whale, a marine mammal from the narwhal family. Beluga makes loud peculiar sounds, hence the expression "beluga roar" appeared. As you can see, the silent beluga fish has absolutely nothing to do with it.
- The waters of the White Sea are moderately salty. It is freshened by five large rivers (Kem, Onega, Mezen, Northern Dvina, Ponoy), and many small rivers. At the end of the 16th century, at the confluence with the White Sea of the Northern Dvina, the city of Novye Kholmogory was founded, later renamed Arkhangelsk. Throughout the 17th century, it was the largest seaport in Russia, despite the fact that navigation was not the most convenient because of the ice.
- In 1553, an English ship under the command of Richard Chancellor entered the White Sea for the first time. Chancellor's expedition searched for the northern sea route to India. And this event was financed by the English king Edward VI and wealthy merchants, who believed that the path along the northern shores of Russia to India would be much closer than along the coast of Africa.
- In 1693, the young Russian Tsar Peter the Great visited the White Sea. Arkhangelsk met the monarch with bell ringing and cannon fire. Peter, who had never seen the sea before, was greatly impressed by this trip. Here he went to sea for the first time on the yacht "Saint Peter", built specially for his arrival. But, as it turned out later, it was not Arkhangelsk that became the "window to Europe" but the new capital of Russia, St. Petersburg.
- For a long time, industrialists who went to the White Sea used the so-called "nautical books" - handwritten sailing directions, which were kept secret, were repeatedly copied and passed down from generation to generation. Only at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. the first lighthouses appeared on the coast of the White Sea.
- There are many islands in the White Sea, most of them are located in the Onega Bay. The largest island is Solovetsky, which covers an area of 246 square kilometers. Until the 15th century, the island was uninhabited, and in the 1420s-1430s. here, thanks to Metropolitan Philip II, the famous Savior-Transfiguration Solovetsky Monastery was built, which during the years of Soviet power became the largest forced labor camp. Monastic life was resumed here only at the end of the 20th century.
- During the Great Patriotic War on the Solovetsky Islands there was a school for boys. One of the most famous pupils was the future writer Valentin Savvich Pikul. He graduated from Jung School at the age of fifteen, in 1943, and was sent to the Northern Fleet, where he served as a pilot-signalman on the destroyer Grozny.
- The beauty of the White Sea constantly attracts filmmakers. For example, in 2005, director Pavel Lungin filmed here his film "The Island", which was repeatedly awarded prizes at film festivals. The shooting took place in the small village of Rabocheostrovsk in Karelia. In search of a location for filming, the director had to travel a lot in the Russian North.