Scythopolis, an ancient town of Palestine, about 12 m. S. of the sea of Galilee, and 4 m. W. of the Jordan. The village now occupying its site is called Beisan, preserving its Scriptural name Bethshean or Bethsan. It is supposed that its classical name was given it after the invasion of the Scyths, because a large number of Scyths had permanently settled in it. The Philistines fastened the corpses of Saul and his sons to the walls of Bethshan, which, though belonging to Manasseh, was never really a Jewish city. Scythopolis was one of the cities of the decapolis. Pompey devastated it, Gabi-nius rebuilt it, and Saladin burned it. Ruins of temples, a theatre, and walls are scattered over the neighborhood of the present village.
See Goose Fish.
Sea Fan, a name popularly given to the al-cyonarian polyps of the family gorgonidoe, from their minutely branched and fan-like appearance. They are composed of a horn-like internal central axis, having sometimes in its substance a little carbonate of lime, but never enough to give them a coral-like rigidity. The external covering is gelatinous, tenacious, and sometimes almost fleshy, secreted by numerous cylindrical, short, laterally connected polyps. The branches rise irregularly, and are joined together by a network. They live in all seas and in deep water; several species, 4 or 5 in. high, are found on the New England coast, but in the tropics they attain a height of 2 or 3 ft. The sea fan of the West Indies (gorgo-nia flabellum, Linn.) attains a height and width of 2 ft.; it is reddish or yellowish, of delicate texture and branching form.
See AcalepAE, and Jelly Fish.
Sea Of Okhotsk, an arm of the N. Pacific-ocean, encircled by Kamtchatka, the Kurile islands, the Japanese island of Yezo, the Russian island of Saghalien, and the district of Okhotsk. It is about 1,000 m. long and GOO broad, and contains several islands. It forms numerous gulfs, and several rivers fall into it. By the gulf of Amoor, which receives the river of that name, it communicates with the sea of Japan. The shores are covered with ice from November to April, but the main expanse continues open. It is generally deep, without shoal or sand bank, and is subject to fogs and storms.
See Oyster Catcher.