The Mediterranean Sea-cret

The Mediterranean Sea-cret

The Ocean’s Shocking Secret

Do you want to know a secret? Well, of course you do. People are naturally curious, and when they hear the word “secret,” they automatically want to know what it is. Well, if you want a secret right here and now, keep reading. Because one of the most popular seas on Earth has one. And you won’t believe your ears when you learn it. 

The Mediterranean Sea is widely known for its beautiful waters, beaches and sea life. Over 170 cruises per year sail on its waters, a record-breaking number. The creation story of the Sea is quite ordinary, but you’ll be shocked to hear what happened next.



How The Mediterranean Came to Be 

250 million years ago, land masses shifted apart and created an ocean named the Tethys Ocean which covered much of what is now the Middle East. But when the continents started moving once again back towards each other, they created a basin into which the waters of the Tethys fell. This was the Mediterranean Basin, and it was completely closed off save for some small straits connecting the sea to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Simple. And yet, there was a catastrophic event that had to occur in order for us to have the Mediterranean we know and love today. 


Sunset on the Mediterrean Sea Coast of Achziv Israel Fine Art Photograph
Immortal by Yehoshua Aryeh - Achziv Beach, Israel - Symphony of the Sea Series


The Catastrophic Turning Point

Around six million years ago, tectonic movement caused the few small straits to close up. The Mediterranean was no longer connected to the Atlantic. And it evaporated exceedingly quickly. Soon, there was almost no water in the Mediterranean! 

This catastrophe was known as the Messinian salinity crisis. And it lasted— can you guess?— 700,000 years. For 700,000 years the Mediterranean evaporated and dried. 

Imagine you were to take a cruise on the Mediterranean only to find that it had completely dried up! Greece’s islands would no longer be islands, Italy’s boot would simply disappear into the land around it, and Tel Aviv would no longer be a beach city! 

After these 700,000 years, the obstacle that connected the Mediterranean with the Atlantic collapsed. Because of this, water from the Atlantic started pouring into the Mediterranean. This flow gradually turned into a deluge, traveling so rapidly that researchers say it filled the entire ocean in less than two years. 

Imagine! It took 700,000 years to dry and yet not even two years to refill!



A Divine Flooding

And that is the story of how the Mediterranean was reformed. This is certainly not the only flood to grace Earth’s surface, but it sure is one of the more surprising ones. 

In the Torah we learn of another flood— the flood in Noah’s time. Through both of these floods we can see how God’s hand is constant in the reshaping and reforming of the planet. God is always with us , whether he is recreating a sea or recreating the world. 


Israel’s Mediterranean Coast

There is so much to appreciate on the Mediterranean Coast of Israel - from Rosh HaNikra to Tel Aviv to Ashkelon. 

Take a dive into photographer Yehoshua Aryeh’s magnificent “Symphony of the Sea” series captured along the Mediterranean shores of the Holy Land. Through his artworks, the secrets of the sea are truly revealed. 

View the Magnificent Symphony of the Sea Series

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Artist Yehoshua Aryeh is passionate about enhancing your connection with Israel through his awe-inspiring landscape photography.

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