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Caribbean Sea

Introduction

Caribbean Sea (kârˌĭbēˈən, kərĭbˈēən) [key], tropical sea, c.970,000 sq mi (2,512,950 sq km), arm of the Atlantic Ocean, Central America. It is bordered on the N and E by the West Indies archipelago, on the S by South America, and on the W by the Central American isthmus. The Caribbean is linked to the Gulf of Mexico by the Yucatán Channel; to the Atlantic by many straits, of which the Windward Channel and Mona Passage are the most important; and to the Pacific Ocean by the Panama Canal. The Magdalena is the largest river entering the sea; Lake Maracaibo is its largest embayment.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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