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A strait is a narrow, channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water. It most commonly means a channel of water that is between two land masses, but it may also mean a navigable channel through a body of water that is not navigable, for example because it is too shallow, or because it contains an unnavigable reef or archipelago. The terms strait, channel, passage, sound and firth can be synonymous, but each is sometimes used with a slight difference of meaning. Many straits are economically important. Straits can lie on important shipping routes, and wars have been fought for control of these straits. Many artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land.

Although rivers and canals often form a bridge between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, they are not usually referred to as straits. Straits are typically much larger, wider structures that do not have water running in a single direction, and normally connect two seas.

Well-known straits

Well-known straits in the world are:

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