A vast ocean that surrounded the lands and waters of Arda on all sides, it was at its widest to the west of Aman and the east of Middle-earth. It was unlike the more familiar inner seas of the World (such as the Great Sea) in that it had no tides, and its water was said to have had a strange 'thin' quality. In the far north, the waters of the Outer Ocean met those of the Great Sea, and there the Grinding Ice of the Helcaraxë formed.
Known as Ekkaia in Elvish, it was beneath this Encircling Sea that Ulmo had his halls, and old tales tell of a vast whale, known as Uin, that also dwelt beneath the surface of the the Outer Ocean.
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