It's a phrase that is often used by sailors yet we aren't really sure if it means a specific set of seas, Many would argue that it does. There has been considerable debate as to the accuracy of this thinking and if it is true, which seas does it refer to?
Many believe that "sailing the seven seas" is an idiom that refers simply to sailing around the world. The term Seven Seas is believed to have been made popular by author Rudyard Kipling who published an anthology of poetry entitled, Seven Seas in 1896. However, the phrase can now be found in many popular songs of today.
Why seven seas when there are more than seven? "Why "seven" seas? Historically, culturally, and religiously, the number seven is a very significant number. Isaac Newton identified seven colors of the rainbow, there are Seven Wonders of the ancient world, seven days of the week, seven dwarves in the fairy tale "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," the seven-day story of creation, the seven branches on a Menorah, seven Chakras of meditation, and seven heavens in Islamic traditions -- just to name a few instances." The number seven appears again and again throughout history and in stories. Because of this, it has much mythology surrounding its importance. As an aside, my favorite number has always been seven!
The following list of seven seas is believed by many to be the original seven seas as defined by sailors of ancient and Medieval Europe.
1. The Mediterranean Sea
2. The Adriatic Sea
3. The Black Sea
4. The Red Sea
5. The Arabian Sea
6. The Persian Gulf
7. The Caspian Sea
Today, the list of Seven Seas that is most commonly accepted is
1. North Atlantic Ocean
2. South Atlantic Ocean
3. North Pacific Ocean
4. South Pacific Ocean
5. Arctic Ocean
6. Southern Ocean
7. Indian Ocean
This last list is inclusive of all bodies of water on the planet which are all part of the one "global ocean." Now that's a term I've never heard before. Each one is technically an ocean or section of an ocean by definition. Most geographers accept this current list to be The Seven Seas.
I hope you enjoyed our little sailing lesson today. I invite you back again tomorrow for another wonderful lesson with my friend, teacher, and mentor, The Dharma Frog. Until then, I wish you happy sailing and wherever your journey takes you to today, may you find