The Significance Of The Dead Sea
This one is for anyone still asking what the Dead Sea is about. The lowest place on earth with the saltiest water in the world, a place full of biblical history, breathtaking views and minerals. So many minerals.
By Dany Herman
People floating in the water, lying on their backs in oily water like diluted Vaseline, reading the Jerusalem Post Newspeper and not sinking. Wait, that’s not all. People come out of the water, smeared with black mud, sunbathe on a beach, in the bromine-rich air and other soothing gases. Hot water stinks of sulfur come out from springs from all sides and steep cliffs rise behind them.
The Dead Sea is a salt lake that is shared by two countries: The State of Israel from the west side and The Kingdom of Jordan from the east. The lake has no access to the sea, located in the area of the Syrian-African rift (Great Rift Valley) and in the center of which the border between Israel and Jordan crosses. The concentration of salts in the Dead Sea is 34.2% – ten times higher than the concentration of salts in the Mediterranean. This high concentration is due to the fact that the lake is terminal (the water of the lake does not flow anywhere), and it is located in an area with a hot and dry desert climate that is characterized by high evaporation rates. The Dead Sea is the fourth largest salty body of water in the world.
The Dead Sea, also known as the Sea of Salt, is an elongated, narrow lake (76 km in length and 15 km in average width). Its depth is about 320 meters in its northern part (the southern part is shallower, because of the evaporation ponds of the Dead Sea Factories in Israel and in Jordan.
The sea level of the northern and deep part is 450 meters below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Dead Sea is of great importance to industry and tourism in Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. The composition of its waters is different from that of ordinary seawater, and includes a high concentration of magnesium, calcium and potassium. And because of this there are factories in the territories of the two countries, among others for the production of potash, magnesium and bromine compounds.
The views of the Dead Sea, the historical importance of nearby sites, such as Masada, Ein Gedi and Qumran, the special chemical composition of its waters and the special climate that prevails in it – all made the Dead Sea a global tourist attraction, and in particular a medical tourism center.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to the Dead Sea every year to recover from various skin diseases such as psoriasis (Link) and spend their nights in the resort area located in the southern Dead Sea.
Floating in the Dead Sea
One of the unique experiences of the Dead Sea is floating, this should be in everyone’s bucket list.
Once your feet are in the water, you’ll feel like something is pushing them up. Take a few steps forward, lie on your back, relax and enjoy this natural phenomenon.
When you enter the water with your whole body, you feel that it becomes lighter and has a greater buoyancy. It is a relaxing experience, which takes away the hardships of the day and allows your body to rest.
Floating is the only thing you can do. Dou to the high salt concentration (31%) you cannot swim dive or jump. We encourage you to bring a newspaper or book for a nice picture, relax and enjoy!
Why is this happening?
The salt concentration in the Dead Sea is six times higher than in any other body of water on earth and reaches 31%.
The extremely high concentration of mineral salts in the water causes the water to be more compressed than ordinary fresh water. Because our body weight is lower (less compressed) than water, our body’s buoyancy is higher and thus buoyancy is possible.
Think of it this way: in fresh water, our bodies do not float at all, and we sink. In the sea you feel a bit of buoyancy, while in the Dead Sea the water is so compressed that you expect it to expand and in fact, it is difficult to even stand upright.
Please note that everything stated in the previous paragraph is a recommendation only. Visitors must swim at official Dead Sea beaches and in the presence of a lifeguard. You must take extra care while floating in the Dead Sea, as in any other body of water. Children should not be allowed to enter the water alone, and adult supervision should be provided
The Dead Sea Mud
Dead Sea mud is rich in minerals and is considered to have medicinal properties. The mud was formed thousands of years ago during which the mud was built up layer upon layer of clay that formed and flooded the Dead Sea.
Dead Sea mud is a clay sediment formed as a result of flooding, with a very high concentration of minerals.
When massaging the skin with mud, get a gentle pilling that operates in several ways: sulfur, which is abundant in the mud (and is responsible for its pungent odor), dissolves the top layer of the skin, thus contributing to the accelerated regeneration of the cells. The high salt content in which it absorbs fluids and causes swelling of the upper layers of the skin. And the clay (a group of important minerals) lightly scrubs the skin and helps eliminate dead cells. The result: the skin looks tauter and the pores tend to shrink.
The Dead Sea Is In Danger
For tens of thousands of years, the Dead Sea received much water that flowed into it from the Jordan River, water from springs, above and below ground and direct rain. All of the above has maintained the water level balance over the years. This balance was violated. In recent hundred years’ dams and aqueducts were built and used for pumping water from the Jordan River (the main source of water that feeds the Dead Sea) for the use of drinking and agriculture for the local colonies around it. This have reduced the amount of water flowing into the Dead Sea. The potash factories in Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan also did not help to raise the water level and it slowly dropped.
The lowest place in the world is getting lower as the water level drops. The rate of dehydration that has caused the Dead Sea level to drop by about 25 meters in the last thirty years is rising, and its rate today is about 1.1 meters per year. The shape of the beans remains only in memory and in the old maps, and the Dead Sea today remains only the northern basin, a long, narrow strip that is shrinking.
The Dead Sea breaks another world record. The lowest place in the world is also the largest salty sea in the world. Animals (other than certain types of bacteria) could not exist in its salt water, and were therefore named the Dead Sea.