Difference Between Bay and Gulf

Bay vs Gulf
 

Difference between bay and gulf is an interesting topic to discuss. Water bodies on earth are found in many shapes and sizes and get named accordingly. Thus, we have oceans, seas, gulfs, bays, rivers, and so on. It is not always the size of the water body that decides its nomenclature. For a majority of the people, a gulf and bay are technically the same, and there is no difference between the two. However, most of the time, a gulf is bigger in size than a bay (though the Bay of Bengal is bigger than the Gulf of Mexico). There are subtle differences between a gulf and a bay that will be discussed in this article.

What is a Bay?

A bay is formed when the water from an ocean or a sea stops because of land mass. There is a small inlet passage before the water body becomes large, and then it gets surrounded by land on three sides, to be called a bay, depending upon the people who name it accordingly. Mostly these water bodies have been named as bays depending upon the perception of the people viewing it. If they think they are small, then the smaller ones have been called bays.

The differences between a bay and a gulf pertain to the inlet or the passage of water from the larger water body, which is a sea or an ocean. In the case of a bay, this inlet or opening is wider than that of gulfs. Bays are surrounded by smaller landmasses and the shape of these water bodies is mostly round or oval shaped.

Apart from this, the word bay is also used as a verb. In this usage bay means a dog, especially a large dog, howling or barking loudly. For example,

I could not stand my neighbor’s bloodhound bay anymore.

Difference Between Bay and Gulf

“I could not stand my neighbor’s bloodhound bay anymore.”

What is a Gulf?

Like bay, a gulf is also formed when the water from an ocean or a sea stops because of land mass. There is a small inlet passage before the water body becomes large, and then it gets surrounded by land on three sides, to be called a gulf, depending upon the people who name it accordingly. Mostly these water bodies have been named as gulfs depending upon the perception of the people viewing it. If they think it is too large, they tend to call it gulf.

The differences between a bay and a gulf pertain to the inlet or the passage of water from the larger water body, which is a sea or an ocean. In the case of a gulf, this inlet or opening is slimmer than the case of bays. Gulfs of the world are mostly surrounded by large landmasses and these water bodies may take any shape.

As a noun, according to the Oxford English dictionary, gulf also refers to ‘a large difference or division between two people or groups, or between viewpoints, concepts, or situations.’ For example,

The widening gap between rich and poor shows a dark future for the country.

What is the difference between Bay and Gulf?

• Gulf and bay are water bodies surrounded by land having similar appearance.

• Gulfs are normally larger sized and have a slimmer opening or inlet.

• Gulfs are surrounded by large land masses.

• Bay of Bengal defies this classification as it is very large (even larger than the biggest gulf, the Gulf of Mexico).

• Bays and gulfs are named according to the perception of the people naming it.

• A bay is not as enclosed by land masses as a gulf.

• Gulf is formed because of erosion of the rocks as water makes inroads into adjoining land.

• Gulfs take any form while bays are mostly oval or round shaped.

• Gulf also means a large difference between two people, two groups or opinions.

• Bay as a verb means a large dog howling or barking loudly.

Image Courtesy: Dog via Pixabay

What is the difference between Bay and Gulf?

• Gulf and bay are water bodies surrounded by land having similar appearance.

• Gulfs are normally larger sized and have a slimmer opening or inlet.

• Gulfs are surrounded by large land masses.

• Bay of Bengal defies this classification as it is very large (even larger than the biggest gulf, the Gulf of Mexico).

• A bay is not as enclosed by land masses as a gulf.

• Gulf is formed because of erosion of the rocks as water makes inroads into adjoining land.