1. Sea, Oh, Sea!

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    Once, only the bravest people set off on a sea journey. Now, let’s sail the virtual high seas, retracing adventures described in our favorite books!

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    Sea, Oh, Sea!

    There are not so many seas in the world*. Yet each sea is oh so different! The seas range from the tranquil kind, like the Sargasso Sea, where millions of miles of still waters are often covered with seaweed, to the turbulent, like the Caribbean, famous for its violent storms. And don’t forget the fictional fairytale seas. There are a good number of them. There’s the one where the old man with his net tries to catch the golden fish to grant his greedy wife wishes. In another one, a noble mermaid saves the life of the handsome prince. And, of course, there’s the one where the mythical monster of the high seas, the kraken, dwells.

    How many different seas will we discover in this project? The good news is it depends on you. This is because the same sea could be described in so many different ways. Some people associate seas exclusively with beach resorts. For others, the sea is the source of their livelihood. Ultimately, every depiction of the sea hinges upon the period when its author lived. Let’s check how perceptions of the seas have changed over time—starting with the first seafarers up until today.

    *Why is it hard to give the exact number of seas of the world?

    If you run a search to find out the exact number of seas on our planet, you may end up with numbers ranging from 80 to 130 or so. Why is it hard to give an exact number? Since a sea is a large body of saltwater, some are attributed to be bays, or lakes, or parts of oceans etc.

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    Since times long gone, people have been drawn to the high seas. Sea journeys have always been the destiny of the bravest and most adventuresome. Even today, billowing sails are symbols of faraway odysseys and adventure. But over time, people’s perceptions of the sea have undergone significant changes. From the enigmatic and menacing entity it once was, the sea has gradually become a vital transportation channel, a place of warfare, and a major source of nutrition and resources. We have explored, mapped, and studied the seas, taking away much of their mystery. Civilization’s inexorable advance slowly but surely transforms our relationship with, and perceptions of, the sea. Certainly, this evolutionary process found its way into literature all over the world.

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