Bass Strait Facts

Bass Strait Facts
Bass Strait is a strait that separates Australia's state of Victoria from Tasmania. This sea strait has a maximum length of 310 miles and a maximum width of 220 miles. Its average depth is 200 feet and its maximum depth is 509 feet. Bass Strait was named after a British explorer named George Bass, who passed through aboard the Norfolk in 1799-99. Originally this strait was known as Bass's Straits but was later changed to Bass Strait. The existence of the strait was predicted in 1797. Bass Strait is twice as rough as the English Channel and also twice as wide.
Interesting Bass Strait Facts:
In 1859 the first submarine communication cable was laid across Bass Strait, beginning at Cape Otway, continuing via King Island, Three Hummock Island, Stanley Head, and then George Town. It failed completely in 1861.
There are several natural gas and oil fields in Bass Strait. They are located in the Gippsland Basin. The oil fields include Halibut Field, Cobia Field, Kingfish Field, Mackerel Field, and Fortuscue Field. The gas fields include Whiptail Field, Barracouta Field, Snapper Field and Marlin Field.
The majority of the oil and gas fields in Bass Strait were discovered in the 1960s in depths of roughly 70 meters.
There are two passenger ferries that cross Bass Strait but the fastest method is by air.
One of Australia's most famous UFO sightings occurred over Bass Strait in 1978 when a pilot named Frederick Valentich reported a buzzing object near his plane. Frederick vanished and both he and his plane were never found.
The annual Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race takes place over Bass Strait each year.
In 2005 Michael Blackburn, an Olympic medalist, crossed Bass Strait in a sailing dinghy in just over 13 hours, setting a record.
Bass Strait contains more than 50 islands. Major islands include King Island, Three Hummock Island, Hunter Island, Robbins Island, the Flinders Group of islands, and the Kent Group of islands.
Bass Strait is known for rougher waters but it saved ships 1,300km when traveling from Europe or India to Sydney in the early 1800s.
There have been many ships and other vessels that have vanished in Bass Strait and have never been seen again, similar to the incidents in the Bermuda Triangle.
In 1848 a lighthouse was built on Deal Island to help ship see in the eastern region of Bass Strait. This helped to lessen the number of ships vanishing in the rough waters.
Some of the largest seal colonies in Australia can be found along the rocks that and granite outcrops that exist from Flinders Island to Wilson's Promontory.
Deal Island in Bass Strait has the Southern Hemisphere's highest lighthouse reaching 1,001 feet above sea level.
Fish that can be found in Bass Strait include barber perch, butterfly perch, wrasse, mado sweep, drummer, half-banded perch, and white ears, as well as crayfish and sponges and tunicates.
There are several areas where divers can explore Bass Strait and even see monster crayfish, but there are also many spots that are too treacherous.

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