The Tethys Ocean ˈtiːθɪs,_ˈtɛθɪs (Τηθύς Tēthús), also called the Tethys Sea or the Neo-Tethys, was a prehistoric ocean during much of the Mesozoic Era and early Cenozoic Era, located between the ancient continents of Gondwana and Laurasia, before the opening of the Indian and Atlantic oceans during the Cretaceous Period.
It was preceded by the Paleo-Tethys Ocean, which lasted between the Cambrian and the Early Triassic, while the Neotethys formed during the Late Triassic and lasted until the early Eocene (about 50 million years ago) when it completely closed. A portion known as the Paratethys formed during the Late Jurassic, was isolated during the Oligocene (34 million years ago) and lasted up to the Pliocene (about 5 million years ago), when it largely dried out. The ocean basins of Europe and Western Asia, namely the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Caspian Sea, are each remnants of the Paratethys Ocean.
The sea was named after Tethys, who, i