Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta in Africa. The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq named after Tariq ibn Ziyad, it is known as the Straits of Gibraltar, the Gut of Gibraltar, the STROG in naval use, Bab Al Maghrib, "Gate of the West". In the Middle Ages, Muslims called it Al-Zuqaq, "The Passage", the Romans called it Fretum Gatitanum, in the ancient world it was known as the "Pillars of Hercules". Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles of ocean at the strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres which interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m. Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes; the Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.
On the northern side of the Strait are Spain and Gibraltar, while on the southern side are Morocco and Ceuta. Its boundaries were known in antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules. There are several islets, such as the disputed Isla Perejil, that are claimed by both Morocco and Spain. Due to its location, the Strait is used for illegal immigration from Africa to Europe; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Strait of Gibraltar as follows: On the West. A line joining Cape Trafalgar to Cape Spartel. On the East. A line joining Europa Point to P. Almina; the seabed of the Strait is composed of synorogenic Betic-Rif clayey flysch covered by Pliocene and/or Quaternary calcareous sediments, sourced from thriving cold water coral communities. Exposed bedrock surfaces, coarse sediments and local sand dunes attest to the strong bottom current conditions at the present time. Around 5.9 million years ago, the connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean along the Betic and Rifan Corridor was progressively restricted until its total closure causing the salinity of the Mediterranean to rise periodically within the gypsum and salt deposition range, during what is known as the Messinian salinity crisis.
In this water chemistry environment, dissolved mineral concentrations and stilled water currents combined and occurred to precipitate many mineral salts in layers on the seabed. The resultant accumulation of various huge salt and mineral deposits about the Mediterranean basin are directly linked to this era, it is believed that this process took a short time, by geological standards, lasting between 500,000 and 600,000 years. It is estimated that, were the straits closed at today's higher sea level, most water in the Mediterranean basin would evaporate within only a thousand years, as it is believed to have done and such an event would lay down mineral deposits like the salt deposits now found under the sea floor all over the Mediterranean. After a lengthy period of restricted intermittent or no water exchange between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean basin 5.33 million years ago, the Atlantic-Mediterranean connection was reestablished through the Strait of Gibraltar by the Zanclean flood, has remained open since.
The erosion produced by the incoming waters seems to be the main cause for the present depth of the strait. The strait is expected to close again as the African Plate moves northward relative to the Eurasian Plate, but on geological rather than human timescales; the Strait has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of the hundreds of thousands of seabirds which use it every year to migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, including significant numbers of Scopoli's and Balearic shearwaters, Audouin's and lesser black-backed gulls and Atlantic puffins. A resident killer whale pod of some 36 individuals lives around the Strait, one of the few that are left in Western European waters; the pod may be facing extinction in the coming decades due to long term effects of PCB pollution. For full articles on the history of the north Gibraltar shore, see History of Gibraltar or History of Spain. For the full article on the history of the south Gibraltar shore, see History of Morocco.
Evidence of the first human habitation of the area by Neanderthals dates back to 125,000 years ago. It is believed that the Rock of Gibraltar may have been one of the last outposts of Neanderthal habitation in the world, with evidence of their presence there dating to as as 24,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence of Homo sapiens habitation of the area dates back c. 40,000 years. The short distance between the two shores has served as a quick crossing point for various groups and civilizations throughout history, including Carthaginians campaigning against Rome, Romans travelling between the provinces of Hispania and Mauritania, Vandals raiding south from Germania through Western Rome and into North Africa in the 5th century and Berbers in the 8th–11th centuries, Spain and Portugal in the 16th century. Beginning in 1492, the straits began to play a certain cultural role in acting as a barrier against cross-strait conquest and the flow of culture and language that would n
Madeira the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. It is an archipelago situated in southwest of Portugal, its total population was estimated in 2011 at 267,785. The capital of Madeira is Funchal, located on the main island's south coast; the archipelago is just under 400 kilometres north of Canary Islands. Bermuda and Madeira, a few time zones apart, are the only land in the Atlantic on the 32nd parallel north, it includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. The region has political and administrative autonomy through the Administrative Political Statue of the Autonomous Region of Madeira provided for in the Portuguese Constitution; the autonomous region is an integral part of the European Union as an outermost region. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419 and settled after 1420; the archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Age of Discovery.
Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about 1.4 million tourists five times its population. The region is noted for its Madeira wine, gastronomy and cultural value and fauna, landscapes that are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, embroidery artisans; the main harbour in Funchal has long been the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, receiving more than half a million tourists through its main port in 2017, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa. In addition, the International Business Centre of Madeira known as the Madeira Free Trade Zone, was created formally in the 1980s as a tool of regional economic policy, it consists of a set of incentives tax-related, granted with the objective of attracting foreign direct investment based on international services into Madeira. Plutarch in his Parallel Lives referring to the military commander Quintus Sertorius, relates that after his return to Cádiz, he met sailors who spoke of idyllic Atlantic islands: "The islands are said to be two in number separated by a narrow strait and lie 10,000 furlongs from Africa.
They are called the Isles of the Blest."Archeological evidence suggests that the islands may have been visited by the Vikings sometime between 900 and 1030. During the reign of King Edward III of England, lovers Robert Machim and Anna d'Arfet were said to have fled from England to France in 1346. Driven off course by a violent storm, their ship ran aground along the coast of an island that may have been Madeira; this legend was the basis of the naming of the city of Machico on the island, in memory of the young lovers. Knowledge of some Atlantic islands, such as Madeira, existed before their formal discovery and settlement, as the islands were shown on maps as early as 1339. In 1418, two captains under service to Prince Henry the Navigator, João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, were driven off course by a storm to an island they named Porto Santo in gratitude for divine deliverance from a shipwreck; the following year, an organised expedition, under the captaincy of Zarco, Vaz Teixeira, Bartolomeu Perestrello, traveled to the island to claim it on behalf of the Portuguese Crown.
Subsequently, the new settlers observed "a heavy black cloud suspended to the southwest." Their investigation revealed it to be the larger island. The first Portuguese settlers began colonizing the islands around 1420 or 1425. Grain production began to fall and the ensuing crisis forced Henry the Navigator to order other commercial crops to be planted so that the islands could be profitable; these specialised plants, their associated industrial technology, created one of the major revolutions on the islands and fuelled Portuguese industry. Following the introduction of the first water-driven sugar mill on Madeira, sugar production increased to over 6,000 arrobas by 1455, using advisers from Sicily and financed by Genoese capital; the accessibility of Madeira attracted Genoese and Flemish traders, who were keen to bypass Venetian monopolies. "By 1480 Antwerp had some seventy ships engaged in the Madeira sugar trade, with the refining and distribution concentrated in Antwerp. By the 1490s Madeira had overtaken Cyprus as a producer of sugar."
Sugarcane production was the primary engine of the island's economy, increasing the demand for labour. African slaves were used during portions of the island's history to cultivate sugar cane, the proportion of imported slaves reached 10% of the total population of Madeira by the 16th century. Barbary corsairs from North Africa, who enslaved Europeans from ships and coastal communities throughout the Mediterranean region, captured 1,200 people in Porto Santo in 1617. After the 17th century, as Portuguese sugar production was shifted to Brazil, São Tomé and Príncipe and elsewhere, Madeira's most important commodity product became its wine; the British first amicably occupied the island in 1801 whereafter Colonel William Henry Clinton became governor. A detachment of the 85th Regiment of Foot under Lieutenant-colonel James Willoughby Gordon garrisoned the island. After the Peace of Amiens, British troops withdrew in 1802, only to reoccupy Madeira in 1807 until the end of the Peninsular War in 1814.
On 31 December 1916, during the Great War, a Ge
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Persea is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen trees belonging to the laurel family, Lauraceae. The best-known member of the genus is the avocado, P. americana cultivated in subtropical regions for its large, edible fruit. They are medium-size 15 -- 30 m tall at maturity; the leaves are simple, lanceolate to broad lanceolate, varying with species from 5–30 cm long and 2–12 cm broad, arranged spirally or alternately on the stems. The flowers are in short panicles, with six small greenish-yellow perianth segments 3–6 mm long, nine stamens and an ovary with a single embryo; the fruit is an pear-shaped drupe, with a fleshy outer covering surrounding the single seed. The species of Persea have a disjunct distribution, with about 70 Neotropic species, ranging from Brazil and Chile in South America to Central America and Mexico, the Caribbean, the southeastern United States. None of the species are tolerant of severe winter cold, with the hardiest, P. borbonia, P. ichangensis and P. lingue, surviving temperatures down to about −12 °C.
A number of these species are found in forests that face threats of deforestation. The family Lauraceae was part of the land flora of Gondwana, many genera had migrated to South America via Antarctica over ocean landbridges by the time of the Paleocene. From South America they spread over most of the continent; when the North American and South American tectonic plates joined in the late Neogene, volcanic mountain building created island chains which formed the Mesoamerican landbridge. Pliocene elevation created new habitats for speciation. While some genera died out in xerophytic mainland Africa, starting with the freezing of Antarctica about 20 million years ago and the formation of the Benguela current, which reached South America and Mesoamerica, such as Beilschmiedia and Nectandra are still surviving today in Africa in a number of species; the genus, died out in Africa, except for P. indica, which is, today, a threatened species that survives in the fog-shrouded mountains of the Canary Islands.
Fossil evidence indicates that the genus originated in West Africa during the Paleocene, spread to Asia, to South America, to Europe and thence to North America. It is thought that the gradual drying of Africa, west Asia, the Mediterranean from the Oligocene to the Pleistocene, the glaciation of Europe during the Pleistocene, caused the extinction of the genus across these regions, resulting in the present distribution. Since this habitat is threatened by encroaching agriculture, the laurel forest animal or vegetal species have become rare in many of its former habitats and are threatened by further habitat loss. In Mesoamerica, Persea proliferated into many new species, the berries of some of them constitute a valuable food supply for quetzals, trogoniform birds that live in the montane rainforests of Mesoamerica. In particular, the resplendent quetzal's favorite fruits are berries of wild relatives of the avocado, their differing maturing times in the cloudforest determine the migratory movements of the quetzals to differing elevation levels in the forests.
With a gape width of 21 mm, the quetzal swallows the small berry whole, which he catches while flying through the lower canopy of the tree, regurgitates the seed within 100 meters from the tree. Wheelright in 1983 observed that parent quetzals take far less time intervals to deliver fruits to the young brood than insects or lizards, reflecting the ease of procuring fruits, as opposed to capturing animal prey. Since the young are fed berries in the first 2 weeks after hatching, these berries must be of high nutritional value. Only the total percentage of water, nitrogen, crude fats and carbohydrates are reported by ornithologists. Persea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including giant leopard moth, Coleophora octagonella and Hypercompe indecisa; the genus Persea is treated in three subgenera. The Asian subgenus Machilus is treated in a separate genus Machilus by many authors, including in the Flora of China, while graft-incompatibility between subgenus Persea and subgenus Eriodaphne suggests that these too may be better treated as distinct genera, in fact Kostermans founded the genus Mutisiopersea for these.
Another related genus, Beilschmiedia, is sometimes included in Persea. Subgenus Persea — Central America. Two species. Persea americana Mill. – Avocado Persea americana var. drymifolia S. F. Blake Persea americana var. floccosa Scora Persea americana var. guatemalensis Scora Persea americana var. nubigena L. E. Kopp Persea americana var. steyermarkii Scora Persea schiedeana Nees – CoyoSubgenus Eriodaphne — The Americas, Macaronesia. About 70 species, including Persea alpigena Persea brevipetiolata van der Werff from Mexico Persea borbonia Spreng. – Redbay Persea caerulea Mez Persea cinerascens Persea donnell-smithii Mez Persea indica Spreng. – Viñátigo Persea lingue Nees – Lingue Persea lo
The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago and the southernmost autonomous community of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest point. The Canary Islands, which are known informally as the Canaries, are among the outermost regions of the European Union proper, it is one of the eight regions with special consideration of historical nationality recognized as such by the Spanish Government. The Canary Islands belong to the African Plate like the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the two on the African mainland; the seven main islands are Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. The archipelago includes much smaller islands and islets: La Graciosa, Isla de Lobos, Montaña Clara, Roque del Oeste and Roque del Este, it includes a series of adjacent roques. In ancient times, the island chain was referred to as "the Fortunate Isles"; the Canary Islands are the most southerly region of Spain and the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region.
The Canary Islands have been considered a bridge between four continents: Africa, North America, South America and Europe. The archipelago's beaches and important natural attractions Maspalomas in Gran Canaria and Teide National Park and Mount Teide in Tenerife, make it a major tourist destination with over 12 million visitors per year Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote; the islands have a subtropical climate, with moderately warm winters. The precipitation levels and the level of maritime moderation vary depending on location and elevation. Green areas as well as desert exist on the archipelago. Due to their location above the temperature inversion layer, the high mountains of these islands are ideal for astronomical observation. For this reason, two professional observatories, Teide Observatory on the island of Tenerife and Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, have been built on the islands. In 1927, the Province of Canary Islands was split into two provinces; the autonomous community of the Canary Islands was established in 1982.
Its capital is shared by the cities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which in turn are the capitals of the provinces of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has been the largest city in the Canaries since 1768, except for a brief period in the 1910s. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 a decree ordered; the third largest city of the Canary Islands is San Cristóbal de La Laguna on Tenerife. This city is home to the Consejo Consultivo de Canarias, the supreme consultative body of the Canary Islands. During the time of the Spanish Empire, the Canaries were the main stopover for Spanish galleons on their way to the Americas, which came south to catch the prevailing northeasterly trade winds; the name Islas Canarias is derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Islands of the Dogs", a name, applied only to Gran Canaria. According to the historian Pliny the Elder, the Mauretanian king Juba II named the island Canaria because it contained "vast multitudes of dogs of large size".
Alternatively, it is said that the original inhabitants of the island, used to worship dogs, mummified them and treated dogs as holy animals. The ancient Greeks knew about a people, living far to the west, who are the "dog-headed ones", who worshipped dogs on an island; some hypothesize that the Canary Islands dog-worship and the ancient Egyptian cult of the dog-headed god, Anubis are connected but there is no explanation given as to which one was first. Other theories speculate that the name comes from the Nukkari Berber tribe living in the Moroccan Atlas, named in Roman sources as Canarii, though Pliny again mentions the relation of this term with dogs; the connection to dogs is retained in their depiction on the islands' coat-of-arms. It is considered that the aborigines of Gran Canaria called themselves "Canarios", it is possible that after being conquered, this name was used in plural in Spanish, i.e. as to refer to all of the islands as the Canarii-as. What is certain is that the name of the islands does not derive from the canary bird.
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the archipelago. Gran Canaria, with 865,070 inhabitants, is both the Canary Islands' second most populous island, the third most populous one in Spain after Majorca; the island of Fuerteventura is the second largest in the archipelago and located 100 km from the African coast. The islands form the Macaronesia ecoregion with the Azores, Cape Verde and the Savage Isles; the Canary Islands is the largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region. The archipelago consists of seven large and several smaller islands, all of which are volcanic in origin. According to the position of the islands with respect to the north-east trade winds, the climate can be mild and wet or dry. Several native species form laurisilva forests; as a consequence, the individual islands in the Canary archipelago tend to have distinct microclimates. Those islands such as El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera lying to the west of the archipelago have a climate, influenced by the m
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers. It covers 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area, it separates the "Old World" from the "New World". The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Europe and Africa to the east, the Americas to the west; as one component of the interconnected global ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, the Southern Ocean in the south. The Equatorial Counter Current subdivides it into the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean at about 8°N. Scientific explorations of the Atlantic include the Challenger expedition, the German Meteor expedition, Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the United States Navy Hydrographic Office; the oldest known mentions of an "Atlantic" sea come from Stesichorus around mid-sixth century BC: Atlantikoi pelágei and in The Histories of Herodotus around 450 BC: Atlantis thalassa where the name refers to "the sea beyond the pillars of Heracles", said to be part of the sea that surrounds all land.
Thus, on one hand, the name refers to Atlas, the Titan in Greek mythology, who supported the heavens and who appeared as a frontispiece in Medieval maps and lent his name to modern atlases. On the other hand, to early Greek sailors and in Ancient Greek mythological literature such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, this all-encompassing ocean was instead known as Oceanus, the gigantic river that encircled the world. In contrast, the term "Atlantic" referred to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the sea off the Strait of Gibraltar and the North African coast; the Greek word thalassa has been reused by scientists for the huge Panthalassa ocean that surrounded the supercontinent Pangaea hundreds of millions of years ago. The term "Aethiopian Ocean", derived from Ancient Ethiopia, was applied to the Southern Atlantic as late as the mid-19th century. During the Age of Discovery, the Atlantic was known to English cartographers as the Great Western Ocean; the term The Pond is used by British and American speakers in context to the Atlantic Ocean, as a form of meiosis, or sarcastic understatement.
The term dates to as early as 1640, first appearing in print in pamphlet released during the reign of Charles I, reproduced in 1869 in Nehemiah Wallington's Historical Notices of Events Occurring Chiefly in The Reign of Charles I, where "great Pond" is used in reference to the Atlantic Ocean by Francis Windebank, Charles I's Secretary of State. The International Hydrographic Organization defined the limits of the oceans and seas in 1953, but some of these definitions have been revised since and some are not used by various authorities and countries, see for example the CIA World Factbook. Correspondingly, the extent and number of oceans and seas varies; the Atlantic Ocean is bounded on the west by South America. It connects to the Arctic Ocean through the Denmark Strait, Greenland Sea, Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea. To the east, the boundaries of the ocean proper are Europe: the Strait of Africa. In the southeast, the Atlantic merges into the Indian Ocean; the 20° East meridian, running south from Cape Agulhas to Antarctica defines its border.
In the 1953 definition it extends south to Antarctica, while in maps it is bounded at the 60° parallel by the Southern Ocean. The Atlantic has irregular coasts indented by numerous bays and seas; these include the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caribbean Sea, Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, part of the Drake Passage, Gulf of Mexico, Labrador Sea, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Norwegian Sea all of the Scotia Sea, other tributary water bodies. Including these marginal seas the coast line of the Atlantic measures 111,866 km compared to 135,663 km for the Pacific. Including its marginal seas, the Atlantic covers an area of 106,460,000 km2 or 23.5% of the global ocean and has a volume of 310,410,900 km3 or 23.3% of the total volume of the earth's oceans. Excluding its marginal seas, the Atlantic covers 81,760,000 km2 and has a volume of 305,811,900 km3; the North Atlantic covers 41,490,000 km2 and the South Atlantic 40,270,000 km2. The average depth is 3,646 m and the maximum depth, the Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench, is 8,486 m.
The bathymetry of the Atlantic is dominated by a submarine mountain range called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It runs from 87°N or 300 km south of the North Pole to the subantarctic Bouvet Island at 42°S; the MAR divides the Atlantic longitudinally into two halves, in each of which a series of basins are delimited by secondary, transverse ridges. The MAR reaches above 2,000 m along most of its length, but is interrupted by larger transform faults at two places: the Romanche Trench near the Equator and the Gibbs Fracture Zone at 53°N; the MAR is a barrier for bottom water, but at these two transform faults deep water currents can pass from one side to the othe