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Visible Earth image of NASA showing the internal waves formed in the Sulu Sea

The Sulu Sea is a large sea in the southwestern area of the Philippines. It is separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by Palawan, and from the Celebes Sea in the southeast by the Sulu Archipelago. Borneo is found to the southwest and Visayas to the northeast.

Sulu Sea contains a number of islands. The Cuyo Islands and Cagayan Sulu are part of the province of Palawan while Mapun and the Turtle Islands are part of the province of Tawi-Tawi. Sulu Sea is also where the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park , one of the World Heritage Sites is located.

Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu was named after the sea.[1]


The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) defines the Sulu Sea as being one of the waters of the East Indian Archipelago. The IHO defines its limits as follows:[2]

On the Northwest. From Tanjong Sampanmangio, the North point of Borneo, along the Eastern limit of South China Sea to Cape Calavite, the Northwest point of Mindoro.

On the Northeast. The Southwest coast of Mindoro to Buruncan Point, its Southern extreme, thence a line through Semirara and Kaluya Islands to Nasog Point (11°53′N 121°53′E / 11.883°N 121.883°E / 11.883; 121.883) the Northwestern extreme of Panay, along the West and Southeast coast of that island to Tagubanhan Island (11°08′N 123°07′E / 11.133°N 123.117°E / 11.133; 123.117), thence a line to the Northern extreme of Negros and down the West coast to Siaton Point, its Southern extreme, thence across to Tagolo Point (8°44′N 123°22′E / 8.733°N 123.367°E / 8.733; 123.367), Mindanao.

On the Southeast. From Tagolo Point, down the West coast of Mindanao to the Southwest extremity thence to the North coast of Basilan Island (6°45′N 122°04′E / 6.75°N 122.067°E / 6.75; 122.067), through this island to its Southern extremity, thence a line to Bitinan Island (6°04′N 121°27′E / 6.067°N 121.45°E / 6.067; 121.45) off the Eastern end of Jolo Island, through Jolo to a point in long. 121°04'E on its South coast, thence through Tapul and Lugus Islands and along the North coast of Tawitawi Island to Bongao Island off its Western end (5°01′N 119°45′E / 5.017°N 119.75°E / 5.017; 119.75), and from thence to Tanjong Labian, the Northeastern extreme of Borneo.

On the Southwest. The North coast of Borneo between Tanjong Labian and Tanjong Sampanmangio.


  1. ^ Michael Simpson (30 April 2008). "John Cho Will Be a Great Sulu In 'Star Trek XI', Says George Takei". Cinema Spy. Retrieved 2008-05-06.  
  2. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 20 December 2009.  

Coordinates: 8°25′06″N 120°19′10″E / 8.41833°N 120.31944°E / 8.41833; 120.31944



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