The Gulf of Mexico is bordered on the north by the southern coast of the United States, on the west by Mexico, and on the southeast by the island nation of Cuba. The seas off the eastern coastline of Central American countries like Honduras or Nicaragua are not part of the Gulf of Mexico.
The shape of the Gulf is roughly ovoid and is roughly 995 miles along its longer, east-west axis. It has a surface area of about 600,000 square miles.
The average depth in the Gulf is 5,298 feet. The reported maximum depth is a matter of debate, but ranges as deep as 14,400 feet.
The prevailing sea current in the Gulf of Mexico has water entering by means of the Yucatan Strait, between the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. It then circulates around the Gulf and streams out the Florida Straits into the Atlantic Ocean, producing that ocean's Gulf Stream.
Offshore energy extraction is a major industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil and natural gas industries employ 55,000 Americans alone in the Gulf's waters.
The warm waters of the Gulf are home to numerous species of shark, most of them harmless to humans. Of the potentially dangerous shark species, there are the bull, oceanic whitetip, tiger, blue and hammerhead sharks.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.