The Red Sea is one of the hottest and saltiest oceans in the world due to its location as the northernmost tropical sea on Earth and its high surface salinities. A salinity of 4%, which is significantly greater than that of other seas, is caused by a combination of factors including a high rate of evaporation, low precipitation, and a dearth of rivers that discharge freshwater into the sea.
The Red Sea is practically tideless because currents are weak and only seldom present, and because tides range from 0.6 to 0.9 meters. The constant north-west wind that dominates the northern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba is the main cause of wind-induced currents.
Due to these exceptional circumstances, the Gulf of Aqaba’s shoreline is covered in fringing coral reefs, creating a diverse and rich ecology. This section of the Red Sea is a well-liked national and international tourist attraction, especially for Red Sea Diving Safari Divers and snorkelers, thanks to a combination of a suitable environment, warm sea, and numerous natural and archaeological objects of interest.
Together with coralline algae and certain sponges, corals are the principal reef builders. In addition to fish and seabirds, healthy reefs are also home to sponges, cnidarians, worms, crabs, sea squirts, and sea turtles. In coral reefs, mammals are uncommon, with dolphins being the primary exception as a visiting cetacean. Except from people, of course, who frequently come and appreciate Aqaba’s coral reefs.
According to the study, the shoreline of the Gulf of Aqaba is home to at least 150 species of hard corals, 23 of which are hard coral species that are currently thought to be indigenous to the Red Sea. 11 of the 23 hard coral species that are native to the Red Sea may be found in Jordan, making up 7.5% of the total number of Red Sea species. According to JREDS Executive Director Ehab Eid, the statistic is significant and remarkable since it demonstrates the high endemicity percentage of hard corals in the Gulf of Aqaba.