9 Facts About North Sea

1. The North Sea is the home of one of the first large-scale offshore wind farms in the world, Horns Rev 1, completed in 2002.

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2. The North Sea contains western Europe's largest oil and natural gas reserves and is one of the world's key non-OPEC producing regions.

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3. The North Sea continues to be an active trade route.

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4. The very northern North Sea islands such as the Shetland Islands are occasionally home to a larger variety of pinnipeds including bearded, harp, hooded and ringed seals, and even walrus.

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5. The North Sea was cut off from the English Channel by a narrow land bridge until that was breached by at least two catastrophic floods between 450,000 and 180,000 years ago.

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6. The east coast and south-east of the North Sea have coastlines that are mainly sandy and straight owing to longshore drift, particularly along Belgium and Denmark.

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7. The North Sea receives freshwater from a number of European continental watersheds, as well as the British Isles.

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8. Around the edges of the North Sea are sizeable islands and archipelagos, including Shetland, Orkney, and the Frisian Islands.

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9. Historically, the North Sea has featured prominently in geopolitical and military affairs, particularly in Northern Europe.

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