In this article, You are going to know the complete list of major straits of the world for UPSC Prelims Examination.

Strait: A strait is a thin channel of waterways i.e. narrow passage of water that connects two seas or two other large areas of water.

The following are the main characteristics of a strait:

  • Formed by natural processes
  • Narrower than the seas it connects
  • Navigable

Major Straits Of The World

Straits of the world are used by commercial shipping to travel from one sea or exclusive economic zone to another and they are of immense strategic and commercial importance. Straits serve as a channel through which ocean currents pass, modifying the climate of that area.

1. Malacca Strait

Joins: Andaman Sea & South China Sea

Location: Indonesia –Malaysia

Strait of malacca upsc

2. Palk Strait      

Join: Palk Bay & Bay of Bengal

Location: India-Sri Lanka

Palk Strait

3. Sunda Strait   

Join: Java Sea & Indian Ocean

Location: Indonesia

Sunda Strait

4. Yucatan Strait

Join: Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

Location: Mexico-Cuba

Yucaton channel

5. Mesina Strait  

Join: Mediterranean Sea

Location: Italy-Sicily

Mesina Strait

6. Otranto Strait

Join: Adriatic Sea & Ionian Sea

Location: Italy-Albania

Ionian Sea 1

7. Bab-el-Mandeb Strait        

Join: Red Sea & Gulf of Aden

Location: Yemen-Djibouti

Bab-el-Mandeb Strait

8. Cook Strait     

Join: South Pacific Ocean

Location:  New Zealand (North & South Islands)

Cook Strait

9. Mozambique Strait  

Join: Indian Ocean

Location: Mozambique -Madagascar

Mozambique Strait

10. North Channel

Join: Irish Sea & Atlantic Ocean

Location: Ireland-England

North Channel

11. Taurus Strait (Torres Strait)

Join: Arafura Sea & Gulf of Papua

Location: Papua New Guinea — Australia

Taurus Strait

12. Bass Strait

Join: Tasman Sea & South Sea

Location: Australia

Bass Strait

13. Bering Strait

Join: Bering Sea & Chuksi Sea

Location: Alaska-Russia

Bering Strait

14. Bonne-Fasio Strait

Join: Mediterranean Sea

Location: Corsika — Sardinia

bonifacio strait

15. Bosporous Strait   

Join: Black Sea and Marmara Sea

Location: Turkey

Bosporous Strait
Bosporous Strait map

16. Dardanelles Strait  

Join: Marmara Sea and Agean Sea

Location: Turkey

Dardanelles Strait

17. Davis Strait  

Join: Baffin Bay & Atlantic Ocean

Location: Greenland-Canada

Davis Strait

18. Denmark Strait     

Join: North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean

Location: Greenland-Iceland

Denmark Strait

19. Dover strait  

Join: English Channel & North Sea
Location: England-France
Strait of Dover or Dover Strait is the narrowest part of the English Channel

Dover strait

20. Florida Strait

Join: Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean

Location: USA-Cuba

Florida Strait

21. Hormuz Strait       

Join: Gulf of Persia & Gulf of Oman

Location: Oman-Iran

Hormuz Strait

22. Hudson strait         

Join: Gulf of Hudson & Atlantic Ocean

Location: Canada

Hudson strait

23. Gibraltar Strait      

Join: Mediterranean Sea & Atlantic Ocean

Location: Spain-Morocco

  • The Strait of Gibraltar is located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula.
  • The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa.
  • The two continents are separated by 14.3 kilometers of the ocean at the Strait’s narrowest point.
  • The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.
  • On the northern side of the Strait are Spain and Gibraltar(a British overseas territory in the Iberian Peninsula); while on the southern side are Morocco and Ceuta (a Spanish autonomous city in northern Africa).
  • Due to its location, the Strait is commonly used for illegal immigration from Africa to Europe.
Gibraltar Strait
  • The Iberian Peninsula: The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme south-west of Europe and includes modern-day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Gibraltar. At the nearest point, it is only 5 miles (8km) from the continent of Africa.

24. Magellan strait       

Join: Pacific and South Atlantic Ocean

Location: Chile

Magellan strait upsc

25. Makkassar Strait   

Join: Java Sea & Celebeze Sea

Location: Indonesia

Makkassar Strait upsc

26. Tsugaru Strait     

Join: Japan Sea and Pacific Ocean

Location: Japan (Hokkaido-Honshu Island)

Tsungaru Strait

27. Tatar Strait  

Join: Japan Sea & Okhotsk Sea

Location: Russia (East Russia-Sakhalin Islands)

Tatar Strait

28. Foveaux Strait 

Join: South Pacific Ocean

Location: New Zealand (South Island- Stewart Island)

Foveaux Strait

29. Taiwan Strait (Formosa Strait)      

Join: South China Sea & East China Sea

Location: China-Taiwan

Taiwan Strait

Bohai Strait

The Bohai Sea is connected to the Yellow Sea via the Bohai Strait.

The Bohai Sea is a marginal sea which is the north-western extension of the Yellow Sea.

Bohai Strait upsc

30. Korea Strait

Join: East China Sea and Sea of Japan

Location: Japan and South Korea

Korea Strait

31. Jamaica Channel

Join: The Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic

Location: Jamaica and Hispaniola

Jamaica Channel

32. Ten Degree Channel

Join: The Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal

Location: Car Nicobar Islands and Little Andaman

Ten Degree Channel

33. English Channel

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France and links to the southern part of the North Sea by the Strait of Dover at its northeastern end. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.

English Channel

34. Kerch Strait

  • The Kerch Strait is a strait connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
  • It separates the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea from the Taman Peninsula of Russia’s Krasnodar Krai
kerch strait

35. Straits of Lombok

Join: Java Sea & Indian Ocean
Location: Indonesia (Bali and Lombok)

straits of lombok

36. Bali strait

Join: Bali Sea & Indian Ocean
Location: Indonesia (Bali and Java)

Bali strait

Isthmus: A narrow strip of land with sea on either side, forming a link between two larger areas of land. The Isthmus of Panama is a narrow strip of land at the southernmost end of Central America. It lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea while linking North and South America.

panama canal

10 Important strategic Straits and Channels

  • Strait of Gibraltar
  • Bab-El Mendeb Strait
  • Strait of Hormuz
  • Strait of Malacca
  • Bosporus Strait
  • Bering Strait
  • Strait of Magellan
  • Strait of Messina
  • Suez Canal
  • Panama Canal
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