THE SEAS NOT MINGLING WITH ONE ANOTHER


A satellite photograph of the Strait of Gibraltar.

One of the properties of seas that has only recently been discovered is related in a verse of the Qur'an as follows:

He has let loose the two seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not break through. (Qur'an, 55:19-20)

This property of the seas, that is, that they meet and yet do not intermix, has only very recently been discovered by oceanographers. Because of the physical force called "surface tension," the waters of neighbouring seas do not mix. Caused by the difference in the density of their waters, surface tension prevents them from mingling with one another, just as if a thin wall were between them.60

It is interesting that, during a period when there was little knowledge of physics, and of surface tension, or oceanography, this truth was revealed in the Qur'an.


There are large waves, strong currents, and tides in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Mediterranean Sea water enters the Atlantic by Gibraltar. But their temperature, salinity, and densities do not change, because of the barrier that separates them.

60. Richard A. Davis, Principles of Oceanography (Don Mills, Ontario: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company), 92-93.