Important Straits of the World – Important facts, Significance

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Important straits of the world are of geopolitical importance, some of the major straits are the Palk strait, Gibraltar strait etc. It serves to be an interconnection between two mainlands. The isthmus leads to the formation of the important straits of the world. They link or divide the major waterways. The important straits of the world also assist in transit and communication and are essential in the viewpoint of trade.

Straits of the world play an instrumental role in the generation of tidal power. The important straits of the world area are an essential part of the UPSC syllabus and are an important topic of Current Affairs. This article will facilitate the candidates with the complete details of the important straits of the world and help the candidates in gaining knowledge of the core concepts.

What is Strait?

The strait is a narrow channel that is navigable and located between two mainlands interconnecting two waterbodies. The important straits of the world are mostly navigable. Some straits are non-passable due to the shallow nature or presence of reefs.

  • The straits also play an instrumental role in altering weather patterns by forming a passage for the ocean currents.
  • The isthmus leads to the formation of the straits.
  • Human activities lead to the formation of canals. These serve to be the passway for transit and play an instrumental role in the conduction of trade and commerce.

Important Straits of the World

This table comprises the list of the important straits of the world along with their characteristics. Check here the location of the strait and the waterbodies it is connecting or separating. They are also the channels through which the oceans make their way, henceforth altering the weather patterns.

Sr. No. Major Straits of the world Characteristics
1 PALK STRAIT Linking the Bay of Bengal with the Gulf of Mannar
2 STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR Linking the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. The Strait of Gibraltar also plays a role in the separation of the Gibraltar and Spain located in the North from Morocco in the South.
3 DUNCAN PASSAGE It divides Rutland to the North and Little Andaman to the South.
4 NINE DEGREE CHANNEL Linking Laccadive islands of Kalapeni, Suheli Par & Maliku Atoll.
5 TEN DEGREE CHANNEL Divides Andaman Islands from the Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal.
6 STRAIT OF HORMUZ Located between UAE and Oman on the southwest and Iran in the north-east. Links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman. It is an essential channel as it majorly governs the oil trade from the Gulf countries.
7 STRAIT OF BAB-EL-MANDAB Links the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and divides Asia from Africa.
8 MALACCA STRAIT It divides Peninsular Malaysia from the Sumatra island of Indonesia. It links the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. It facilitates a shorter route from the Andaman Sea to the South China sea and henceforth is the most engaged waterway in the world.
9 SUNDA STRAIT It links the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean and divides the Java island of Indonesia from its Sumatra island.
10 BERING STRAIT It divides Russia and Alaska and links the East Siberian Sea in the Arctic Ocean with the Bering Sea in the Pacific Ocean.
11 ORANTO STRAIT It links the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea and divides Italy from Albania.
12 BOSPHORUS STRAIT The narrowest strait that is navigable linking the Black sea with the sea of Marmara.
13 DARDANELLES STRAIT It is located between Asian Turkey and European Turkey. This strait also links the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. It is a pivotal link for the transit between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
14 LA PAROUSES STRAIT Located between Sakhalin island and Hokkaido island of Japan. This links the Sea of Okhotsk with the Sea of Japan.
15 STRAIT OF TARTARY/TARTAR It divides the Russian island Sakhalin from Mainland Asia. This strait links the Sea of Okhotsk in the North to the Sea of Japan in the south.
16 TSUGARU STRAIT Located between Hokkaido and Honshu in northern Japan and links the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean.
17 TAIWAN STRAIT OR FORMOSA STRAIT It is located between Taiwan [Republic of China] and Mainland China [People’s Republic of China]. It links the South China Sea with the East China Sea.
18 MOZAMBIQUE STRAIT It is located in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique from Madagascar.
19 YUCATAN STRAIT It is located between Mexico and Cuba and links the Gulf of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea.
20 FLORIDA STRAIT It is located between Florida State and the USA and Cuba.
21 HUDSON STRAIT It links Hudson Bay [Canada] with the Labrador Sea.
22 DAVIS STRAIT It links Baffin Bay with the Atlantic Ocean.
23 COOK STRAIT It is located between the North and South islands of New Zealand and links the Tasman Sea with the South Pacific ocean.
24 BASS STRAIT It divides Tasmania from the Australian mainland.
25 TORRES STRAIT It is located in the Pacific Ocean, between the Cape York Peninsula of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
26 MAGELLAN STRAIT It divides Mainland South America from Tierra Del Fuego [an archipelago off the southern-most tip of the South American Mainland]
27 DOVER STRAIT It is located in the narrowest segment of the English Channel, linking with the North Sea. It divides Britain from Continental Europe.
28 NORTH CHANNEL It divides Ireland from Scotland and links the Irish Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.

Important Facts About Major Straits

The important facts about the straits and canals have been listed here that can be asked in the UPSC exam. The longest strait, narrowest strait, and other essential straits divide the different water bodies and add to the list of important straits of the world.

  • Longest Straits: Strait of Malacca (800 km) links the Andaman Sea with the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean).
  • Narrowest Strait: Strait of Bosphorus linking the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea.
  • Bering Strait: Divides Asia from America.
  • Bass Strait: Divides Australia from Tasmania.
  • Gibraltar Strait: Divides Africa from Europe.

Major Straits UPSC

The aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam must have an in-depth knowledge of all the latest updates about the major straits of the world. The questions can be asked from the topics that are covered in the daily news and current events. The candidates must be having a comprehensive understanding of the important straits of the world to pick out the right answer in the UPSC exam.

The candidates can download the complete notes in order to enhance their understanding of the concept. You should also attempt the UPSC previous year papers on a regular basis in order to gain complete knowledge of the topics of the exam.

Significance of Important Straits of the World

It is of high essentiality for the candidates to be completely conversant with the essentiality of the important straits of the world. The straits play an instrumental and important role in determining transit and trade.

  • It plays an essential role in geopolitics as it forms the passage for the ocean. It is also essential for matters pertaining to the military and economy.
  • The straits are also effective in transit and commuting from the economic zones. They are also essential from the navigation point of view, they provide the path to the numerous ships that cross the way.
  • The straits play an essential role in the generation of tidal power.
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