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Marginal sea, North Pacific Ocean. Enclosed by Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and eastern Siberia, it covers some 890,000 sq mi (2,304,000 sq km). It has numerous islands, including Karagin and Nunivak, as well as the St. Lawrence, Aleutian, and Komandor archipelagos. It is crossed diagonally by the International Date Line. The sea is connected to the Arctic Ocean by the Bering Strait, which separates Asia from North America and is believed to have been a land bridge during the Ice Age that enabled migration from Asia to North America. Vitus Bering's exploration of the sea and strait in 1728 and 1741 formed a basis for Russian claims to Alaska.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Bering Sea, visit Britannica.com.