What are the seven seas?

February 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Geography

The seven seas is a figurative term denoting all the seas and oceans of the world. It is often explained that the seven seas are the Arctic, the Antarctic, the North and South Pacific, the North and the South Atlantic, and the Indian ocean. This explanation is purely imaginary. The term is not intended to be taken literally. It was part of the vernacular of several nations long before some of the oceans named were known to the inhabitants of Europe and Asia. The seven seas are referred to in the literature of the ancient Hindus, Chinese, Persians, Romans and other nations. In each case the term refers to different bodies of water. Sometimes it refers to mythical seas.

To the Persians the seven seas were the streams forming the Oxus River; the Hindus applied the name to bodies of water in the Punjab. Near Venice, Italy, is a group of salt-water lagoons that the Romans called septem maria, the Latin phrase for “seven seas.”

In modern times the phrase The Seven Seas was popularized by Rudyard Kipling, who used it as the title of a volume of poems first published in 1896. The poet himself said the term might be regarded as referring to the seven oceans, although it was a very old figurative name for all the waters of the world.

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