The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia. It extends 420 miles (675 km) north-south by 520 miles (837 km) east-west and has a total surface area of 110,000 square miles (280,000 km square), to a maximum depth of 20,300 feet (6,200 m). The sea opens southwest through the Makassar Strait into the Java Sea.
The Celebes Sea is a piece of an ancient ocean basin that formed 42 million years ago in a locale removed from any landmass. By 20,000,000 years ago, earth crust movement had moved the basin close enough to the Indonesian and Philippine volcanoes to receive emitted debris. By 10 million years ago the Celebes Sea was inundated with continental debris, including coal, which was shed from a growing young mountain on Borneo and the basin had docked against Eurasia.
Marine life :
The Celebes Sea is home to a wide variety of fish and aquatic creatures. The tropical setting and warm clear waters permit it to harbor about 580 of the world's 793 species of reef-building corals, which grow as some of the most bio-diverse coral reefs in the world, and an impressive array of marine life, including whales and dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, eagle rays, barracuda, marlin and other reef and pelagic species. Tuna and yellowfin tuna are also abundant. In addition to high abundance of fish caught in the Celebes sea, this sea also yields other aquatic products like sea tang.
The Celebes Sea has somewhat attained an international notoriety for its pirates who prey not only on small time fishermen but also giant container ships. Nowadays, these pirates have high-tech weapons and equipment like radar and GPS navigation devices and ride on high-speed motorboats. It is the second most pirated body of water after the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.