Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar (Arabic: مضيق جبل طارق, romanized: Maḍīq Jabal Ṭāriq; Spanish: Estrecho de Gibraltar, Archaic: Pillars of Hercules), also known as the Straits of Gibraltar,[1] is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates the Iberian Peninsula in Europe from Morocco in Africa.

Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar as seen from space.
The Iberian Peninsula is on the left and North Africa is on the right.
Strait of Gibraltar
Location of the Strait of Gibraltar between Africa (centre right) and Europe (top right), connecting the Atlantic Ocean in the centre to the Mediterranean Sea on the right
LocationAtlantic Ocean  Mediterranean Sea
Coordinates35°58′N 5°29′W
TypeStrait
Native name
Basin countries
Min. width13 km (8.1 mi)
Max. depth900 metres (2,953 ft)

The two continents are separated by 13 kilometres (8.1 miles; 7.0 nautical miles) of ocean at the Strait's narrowest point between Point Marroquí in Spain and Point Cires in Morocco.[2] Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres (980 and 2,950 feet; 160 and 490 fathoms)[3] which possibly interacted[clarification needed] with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago[4] when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m (360–390 ft; 60–66 fathoms).[5]

The strait lies in the territorial waters of Morocco, Spain, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, foreign vessels and aircraft have the freedom of navigation and overflight to cross the strait of Gibraltar in case of continuous transit.