The Legend of the Black Sea

The Black Sea lies between the countries of Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. This inland sea is just over four hundred and thirty-six square kilometers in size and has a depth of seven thousand two hundred feet. In ancient times trade ships used to navigate its turbulent waters and in more modern times, significant World War I and II battles were fought on its waters. But the Black Sea is more than just a mass of water, it has many legends and myths connected to it, and in Ukraine there is one tale that has been passed down for generations, explaining the sudden bursts of turbulence and violent waters.


The legend tells of a sensible man named Bogatyr, who was known for his courage and strength, and who had a magical arm. It is said that his arm was a mythical arrow, but for all the power it wielded, it was destructive and harmful. If the power of this arm was given to the wrong person, it would cause wars and despair. The arrow could boil water, melt the earth, set the air on fire and kill. When Bogatyr sensed that his time on earth was nearing its end, he began to worry about the future of the arrow, and that the next person who possessed it might not be as sensible with it as he was. So he decided to hide it.

Even though his son’s were great warriors and honest people, Bogatyr feared that their young age and the extreme power of the arrow would make them unable to resist the temptation, so he enlisted them instead to help him hide the arrow. They were instructed to take the arrow, and toss it deep into the Black Sea, where future generations would not be able to find it. On arriving at the Black Sea, they decided to rather hide the arrow in the mountains and tell their father that they had fulfilled his wish. Bogatyr already knew their plans and sent them back to complete their task under the threat that they would not receive his blessings until the arrow was lying at the bottom of the Black Sea. The sons complied, and legend has it that as soon as the arrow touched its waters, it turned black and begun to boil. It is believed that the sea cannot rest, and that the waves and boiling water that occur at times is the Black Sea trying to rid itself of the fiery arrow.

Although science always finds a way to dispute myths and legendary tales, these stories will keep on being told, as long as someone wants to listen. And they add a touch of mystery to this phenomenal natural wonder.