The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from the Rock of Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq (meaning "Tariq's mountain" named after Tariq ibn Ziyad. The Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat, meaning "Gate of Charity". It is also known as the Straits of Gibraltar, or STROG (Strait Of Gibraltar), in naval use and as the "Pillars of Hercules" in the ancient world.
Europe and Africa are separated by 7.7 nautical miles (14.3 km; 8.9 mi) of ocean at the strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres. Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.