Interesting facts about the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea washes the shores of nine states - Russia, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Denmark and Finland. It is mentioned in the "Tale of Bygone Years", in which the sea is called Varangian. Our ancestors also called him Sveisky. Svei is an ancient Germanic tribe that lived in the territory of modern Sweden. In the 18th century in Russia they began to call it in the German manner - the Ostsee Sea. And later the name Baltic or Baltic Sea was strengthened.

11 interesting facts about the Baltic Sea

  1. The famous path "from the Varangians to the Greeks" began in the Baltic for a long time, connecting Northern Europe with Byzantium. This trade route retained its importance until the XII century, most of it passed through the Russian lands. In some areas between two rivers or lakes, ships had to be dragged overland.
  2. The Baltic Sea is one of the youngest on Earth. Its modern coastline was formed about 4, 000 years ago. Currently, the sea area is 419, 000 square kilometers. The average depth is about 50 meters, and the greatest is 470 meters. The Baltic Sea is relatively calm, with wave heights rarely exceeding 3 meters.
  3. Despite this, the Baltic Sea is often referred to as a shipwreck graveyard. At the bottom of the sea, indeed, rest the remains of thousands of ships that sank at different times. Given the shallow depth of the sea, ordinary divers hunt for underwater treasures. Due to the low water temperature and low salinity, vessels are well preserved for a long time.
  4. On July 16, 1868, on the way to St. Petersburg, the Orkney bark sank. It was rumored that it was on it were the gold bars that the Russian government received for the sale of Alaska. It was never possible to find this gold. At the same time, according to reports from the Ministry of Finance, most of the money received for Alaska was spent abroad to purchase equipment for the construction of railways in Russia.
  5. During particularly cold winters, the Baltic Sea is covered with a thick layer of ice, although this does not happen often. For example, in 1322 the ice was so strong that it was easy to get from Denmark to Germany by sleigh. But small bays freeze regularly, and the thickness of the ice can reach one meter.
  6. The uninhabited island of Merket is located in the Baltic Sea, with an area of ​​only three hectares. Despite such a small area, the island is divided between two countries - Sweden and Finland. Moreover, both states take their possessions very seriously: every twenty-five years, the borders are clarified. There are two time zones on the island, it is enough to take a few steps to change the time.
  7. And the largest island in the Baltic Sea is Gotland, which belongs to Sweden. Its area is 3, 000 square kilometers, and the population is over 56, 000 people. The largest city on the island is Visby, the first documentary information about it dates back to 900. Now Visby is one of the most popular tourist centers in Sweden; famous politicians, businessmen and movie stars buy real estate here.
  8. The largest rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea are the Vistula and Daugava, with a length of over 1, 000 kilometers. In total, the Baltic Sea basin includes about 250 large and small rivers. It is interesting that the Neva is one of the smallest in length, its length is only 74 kilometers. For all this distance, the Neva is navigable.
  9. One of the main treasures of the Baltic Sea is amber - the petrified resin of coniferous trees, which has lain in the water for many centuries. About 90 percent of all proven reserves are located off the coast of the Kaliningrad region. In the village of Yantarny alone, about 300 tons are mined annually. Amber has been credited with healing properties since ancient times. It is believed to be able to cleanse the body of toxins, normalize the activity of the thyroid gland and prevent asthma attacks.
  10. In 2017, Polish athlete Sebastian Karas became the first person to swim across the Baltic Sea. He was able to get from the Polish city of Kolobrzeg to the Danish island of Bornholm in 28 and a half hours. And the distance between them is about 100 kilometers. Moreover, the brave swimmer was able to set a record only on the second attempt, a year earlier he stopped swimming after eight hours due to poor health.
  11. Baltic Sea Day is celebrated annually on 22 March. This holiday was established in 1986 at a regular meeting of the Helsinki Commission in order to draw attention to the problems of the Baltic Sea. And its ecological state is of serious concern to scientists. There are millions of tons of chemical weapons at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. An illustrative example - the content of cesium and strontium in fish caught here is several times higher than the norm.