Seven Seas

Ok, Everyone has heard of people ‘sailing the Seven Seas’, but which seven are they referring to?

Taking a guess that it is a European thing are they the Aegean, North, Baltic, Mediterranean, Black, Red and Atlantic? What about the Caspian and Dead seas? How many seas are there in total in the world?

The “Seven Seas” are:

The Red Sea
The Mediterranean,
The Persian Gulf,
The Black Sea,
The Adriatic Sea,
The Caspian Sea, and
The Indian Ocean

Steve-o, sorry to disagree, but you might want to check out this Mailbag article:

Atlantic Sea?


Actually, I think we are both correct, depending on what time period you are referencing. I found the following reference on Compton’s Encyclopedia Online. I am unsure of where the “Sea of Azov” is (sounds Russian), but it may be an old name for the Mediterranean sea.

An ocean is really a sea with an attitude.
[Size,depth etc.]

The spaniards titled Columbus as
“Admiral of the Ocean Sea”

The counting of seas does get rather problematic…

Within the area that many of count as the Mediterranean, there are also:

Ligurian Sea off NW Italy
Tyrrhenian Sea off SW Italy
Adriatic Sea btw Italy & former Yugoslavia
Ionian Sea btw Italy & Greece
Aegean Sea Btw Greece & Turkey

so gee, that’s 6 right there…

Sue from El Paso

The Sea of Azov is the small sea at the top of the Black Sea, east of the Crimean peninsula.

Don’t forget the Sea of Marmara, between the Aegean and the Black Sea.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Ok, thanks. Silly of me to take it literally I suppose, But I thought that maybe it did have a literal basis in the begining. And just because a phrase is translated to meaning the seven seas’ does not mean that it literally refers to seven seas in that language. ‘Sailing all the seas of the world’ has a different connotation to ‘Sailing the seven seas’ though they are both interpreted to mean the same thing. Just curious

Remember, as Songbird alludes in the Mailbag article, that seven is the number for completion in Western literature (from the Biblical use of seven to indicate completion) so seven seas implies “all” the seas.

Where are those blasted back copies of the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” when you need them? To the best of my memory, the Seven Seas are:

North Atlantic
North Pacific
South Atlantic
South Pacific
Mediterranean Ocean
Indian Ocean
Black Sea (?)

Though it certainly is used in the meaning of having been all over the world, I think it refers specifically to the major waterways of the world where most of the international marine traffic is to be found.

Then again, the phrase may be way older than the discovery of the Pacific and besides it’s late and I’ve had too much Bass Ale. Forgive me :slight_smile:

Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

From my high-quality Elementary School education–

North Atlantic
South Atlantic
North Pacific
South Pacific
Indian Ocean
Arctic Ocean

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