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Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Connecting Red Sea and Gulf of Aden

12.5N 43.3E

March 10th, 2011 Category: Snapshots

Ethiopia - February 10th, 2011

The Bab-el-Mandeb (sometimes called the Mandab Strait in English) is a strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. It is located between Yemen (on the Arabian Peninsula, above), Djibouti and Eritrea (left), north of Somalia (in the Horn of Africa, below).

The Bab-el-Mandeb, meaning “Gate of Scars” in Arabic, derives its name from the dangers attending its navigation, or, according to an Arab legend, from the numbers who were drowned by the earthquake which separated Asia and Africa.

The distance across is about 20 miles (30 km) from Ras Menheli in Yemen to Ras Siyan in Djibouti. The island of Perim divides the strait into two channels. There is a surface current inwards in the eastern channel, but a strong undercurrent outwards in the western channel.

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