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Strait, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans between Tierra del Fuego and the South Shetland Islands. Located about 100 mi (160 km) north of the Antarctic Peninsula, it is 600 mi (1,000 km) wide. In this area the climate changes from cool, humid, and subpolar to the frozen conditions of Antarctica. An important trade route in the 19th and early 20th centuries, its stormy seas and icy conditions made the rounding of Cape Horn a difficult journey.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Drake Passage, visit Britannica.com.