The Sea of Asimov
© Pixabay / Reimund Bertrams
The Sea of Asimov (artist's impression)
A NATO maritime expert discovered a conflict hotspot, as crucial as the Persian Gulf, that no one else has heard of. Apparently, the mysterious "Sea of Asimov" urgently needs NATO's protection. The error was later corrected.

"Recent events in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Asimov have demonstrated the need for naval power and for NATO forces' to be able to find and destroy mines," declares a NATO puff piece featuring Maritime Officer Paul Beckley, who apparently has traveled to distant galaxies not accessible to non-NATO countries.

The article discussed the importance of Beckley's role without giving any further insight into the enigmatic body of water he's helping to mine-sweep for NATO. Certainly, the Sea of Asimov is not found on any human maps, from this planet anyway. What else does Beckley do there? Fight off space pirates? Subdue Cthulhu and his minions? Inquiring minds want to know.

One lone Twitter user placed the mysterious Sea in the Collapsing Universe of Isaac Asimov - which would make sense, given the name.

The reference to the fictional sea remained on NATO's website for more than 12 hours, before the alliance quietly changed it to "Sea of Azov," a real-life body of water encircled by Russia and eastern Ukraine.

NATO's military superiority to Russia is "eroding," according to Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford. China's capabilities are creeping up quickly as well, he told reporters on Tuesday following a meeting of the alliance's military committee. But who needs military superiority when you have access to science fiction worlds?