Where is the Tatar Strait, and why is it so named?

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Where is the Tatar Strait, and why is it so named?
Where is the Tatar Strait, and why is it so named?

In ancient times, there was a distant and unknown country - Tartaria. Unknown tribes lived in it, Tartars, threatening Christianity (in the European sense) and originating from Tartarus itself - the realm of horror, the deepest regions of Hell.

Tatar Strait

So almost until the beginning of the 19th century, Western Europe perceived all peoples living in the territory located between the Caspian Sea, China and the Pacific Ocean.

Name history

Why is the Tatar Strait called Tatar? After all, from Sakhalin, the Sea of ​​Japan and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, which it connects, to the place where the Tatars live, several thousand kilometers … The fact is that Europeans learned about the Tatars during the time of Genghis Khan. Not particularly understanding the languages ​​and culture of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples, the Europeans called them all Tatars. Over time, the word "Tatars" was transformed into "Tartars". An important role in this change was played by the phenomenon, which in linguistics is called contamination: the sound of the word strongly resembled "Tartar" - the deepest regions of hell.

port in the Tatar Strait

Over time, peoples living in an unknown distant territory began to attribute all the featurescharacteristic of the inhabitants of hell. The words "Tatars" and "Tartars" were so mixed up that the strait connecting Tartaria with the rest of the territory was called Tatar. However, it is not surprising that the Tatar Strait was associated by many with something terrible, almost otherworldly. Even in its southernmost part, the strait is covered with ice for 40-80 days a year. In the northern part of the "ice" period can last up to 170 days. The ice conditions in the Tatar Strait made it so difficult to study that cartographers argued for a long time whether this geographical feature was a bay or a strait.

Features and geographic location

Laperouse in 1787, Kruzenshtern in 1805, Brauton in 1796 entered the Tatar Strait, but, being afraid of numerous shoals that are exposed at low tides, they could not pass it to the end. They were sure that Sakhalin is a peninsula, and this place, respectively, is a bay. In 1846, the traveler Gavrilov confirmed their version and became convinced that neither the strait, nor Sakhalin, nor the Amur had any practical significance for Russia. He did not know that a few decades before him, a Japanese surveyor had passed the strait from beginning to end, made sure that Sakhalin was an island, marked the Tatar Strait on the map.

map of the tatar strait

However, except for the Japanese, until 1849 this information was not known to anyone. Only Nevelsky was able to prove that the strait was passable for ships. But it happened only in 1849. What is the strait today? It separates Sakhalin Island from Asia. The system, consisting of the Tatar Strait,Amur Estuary and Sakhalin Bay, connects the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan. The map of the Tatar Strait clearly shows how its width varies in different places. In the narrowest Nevelskoy Strait, it does not even reach 8 kilometers, in the North it is 40 km, and in the south the coasts are 324 km apart.

Miracle of nature - Tatar Strait

Surprise not only the bizarre shores of the bay, but also its great depth. One of its most "shallow" places is located between the Imperial Harbor and De-Kastri. Here the depth gauge shows 32-37 meters, and it's only two miles from the coast. Near the Sakhalin coast, near Monneron Island, near Cape Lesseps, the depth varies from 50 to 100 meters. But between Capes Lazarev and Pogibi, where, according to rumors, there is an underground passage from the island to the mainland, the depth is only 10 meters. Almost all cities located along the shores of the strait are equated with the regions of the Far North.

ice conditions in the Tatar Strait

High humidity, low temperatures greatly complicate the life of people, but do not affect the life of marine life. Pink salmon and chinook salmon, perch and sockeye salmon are found in the waters of the strait. It is surprising that from time to time the inhabitants of the coast catch two-meter sharks. For a long time it remained a mystery how a fish that does not tolerate cold gets into the nets of local fishermen. Today, everyone blames it on the extreme curiosity and mobility of this predator. "Zaletnaya" - so jokingly and seriously the locals call the caught sharks. Herring, smelt, greenling are hunted in the Tatar Strait.

Ports of TatarskyStrait

Today every schoolchild knows where the Tatar Strait is. They study at school and the cities located along its banks. There are few of them. At a distance of 663 km (this is the length of the strait) there are 8 cities. Sovetskaya Gavan became known as the end point of BAM, although its history begins in August 1953. This port in the Tatar Strait is today connected by a railway line with Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a highway with Vanino and Lidoga, and from May-Gatka airport you can get to any earth point. The foggy port of Vanino is located 32 kilometers from Sovetskaya Gavan. This is the largest port in the Khabarovsk Territory.

tunnel under the Tatar Strait

The movement of ships here does not stop even in winter: icebreakers constantly clear the water area from the ice cover. Vanino piers stretch for 3 km, and 22 berths operate around the clock.

Aleksandrovsk, Nevelsk, Kholmsk

Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky administratively belongs to the Sakhalin region, and is located on the western coast. The small airport Zonalnoye is located 75 km from it. A gravel road connects the urban-type settlement with other settlements. This city, according to climate conditions, is equated to the Far North. Life here is harsh and literally cold.

Where is the Tatar Strait

Nevelsk also belongs to the Sakhalin region. This port in the Tatar Strait is known as the most avalanche-prone region of Russia. This is probably due to the fact that three rivers flow there: Kazachka, Lovetskaya and Nevelskaya. In 2007the earthquake almost completely destroyed the city. Despite the fact that restoration work has long been completed, people are gradually leaving the city.

Tatar Strait

Kholmsk is the only and largest port center on Sakhalin with ice-free waters. Two modern terminals, 3 railway stations, a huge transport hub are connected into a single system. Kholmsk is a center of culture, fishery and economy. Until 1946, he bore the Japanese name Mauka (Maoka).

De-Kastri, Shakhtersk, Uglegorsk

A tiny village with a population of less than 4,000 people is valuable because it has many natural shelters for ships. De Castries bears the name of the Marquis who sponsored the La Perouse expedition. A small but militarily valuable port belongs to the Khabarovsk Territory. Located almost in the center of Sakhalin, Shakhtersk also belongs to the Tatar Strait. It is the only airport connecting the region with Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and other cities of the island. Only YAK040 and AN-24 can land here. The city's economy is gradually declining: of the several mines, only Udarnovskaya and partially the Solntsevsky coal mine are functioning today. The port of Uglegorsk is known for its canal, which the locals call the "Tukhlyanka River". It dumps waste from the pulp mill into the Tatar Strait, or rather into the Sea of ​​Japan. The city has a timber industry and food enterprises. The average annual temperature here is -1.7°C. Until 1946, coal was mined here, but today mining is carried out elsewhere.

Tatar Strait on the map

RiddleTatar Strait

Even at the end of the 19th century, the idea of ​​building an underground tunnel leading to Sakhalin was put forward. An attractive idea remained unrealized: there was no money for its implementation. The issue was raised in 1929, but only Stalin made the final decision. The tunnel under the Tatar Strait began to be built by the forces of Gulag prisoners. It began at Cape Perish, and was supposed to end on the mainland, at Cape Lazarev. It is hardly worth talking about how difficult the work of prisoners was in the conditions of the Far North. But with the death of Stalin, all work was stopped. It happened in one day: billions of investments, tons of building materials remained unused. The tunneling has not even begun. However, there are still many legends about this construction site. According to one version, the construction is almost completed, but it is highly classified. According to another, thousands of prisoners were flooded in the tunnel. One thing is certain. Today, there are three options for connecting Sakhalin to the mainland: an embankment dam, a tunnel and a bridge. The timing of their implementation is not yet known, but go far beyond 2015. True, sometimes there is information in the press that if Japan takes part in the construction, it will be completed as soon as possible.

What will the dam be like?

Scientists have calculated that if you build a dam in the narrowest place (where the banks are only 7 km apart), then in a year you can build a reliable dam with just one dredge. On the finished dam, you can install a power plant, which, pumping water, will extract, and not waste energy. According to the designers, the dam-the power plant will affect the climate of the Tatar Strait. The most daring dreamers say that with the help of this technical device it will be possible to turn the harsh climate of the strait into a warm and cozy resort area.

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