Ekkaia (also known as Vaiya, the Outer Ocean, the Outer Sea, or the Encircling Sea) was a vast, cold and dark ocean completely surrounding the world of Arda, at least until the Undying Lands were removed from the "circles of the world" in the cataclysm near the end of the Second Age.


Ekkaia flowed completely around the world, forming a sea below it and a form of air above it. Arda is described as having floated on Ekkaia, like a ship on a sea. The Sun passed through Ekkaia on its way around the world, warming it as it did so. Within Ekkaia lay Ilmen, the upper atmosphere, and Vista, the lower atmosphere. At sea level, Ekkaia met the Belegaer at the Helcaraxë. Ekkaia itself was enclosed within the Walls of the Night.

Ulmo, the Lord of Waters, dwelt in Ekkaia, below the roots of Arda. Ekkaia is described as extremely cold: the strait where it met Belegaer in the northwest of Middle-earth, the Helcaraxë, was filled with ice floes and icebergs. Ekkaia cannot support any ships except the boats of Ulmo; the ships of the Númenóreans that tried to sail on it sank, drowning the sailors.

Ekkaia apparently disappeared after Arda was made round, although it may have been changed into the upper atmosphere of the world.[1][2][3]


Ekkaia (at first spelled Eccaia) was a Quenya word.[1]


Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic أكايا
Armenian Էկկիա
Bengali এককাইয়া
Bulgarian Cyrillic Екая
Georgian ეკაია
Greek Εκκαια
Gujarati એકકાઆ
Japanese エッカヤ
Hebrew אקאיה
Hindi एक्क्ऐअ
Kannada ಏಕಿಯ
Kazakh Эккая (Cyrillic) Ékkaya (Latin)
Korean 에 카시아
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Эккаиа
Macedonian Cyrillic Еккаиа
Marathi एक्कैअ
Malayalam എക്ഖിയ
Mongolian Cyrillic Эккаиа
Nepalese एक्क्ऐअ
Russian Эккайа
Serbian Еккаиа (Cyrillic) Ekkaia (Latin)
Tamil இக்கையே
Telugu ఎక్కాయ
Thai เอคไคอา
Ukrainian Cyrillic Еккайа
Urdu ایککایا
Yiddish עקקאַיאַ

Seas of Arda

Belegaer | Ekkaia | Helcar | Núrnen | Rhûn | Ringol | Shadowy Seas


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, Introduction
  3. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Second Age, "Introduction"
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.