The very name “Dead Sea” seems to be frightening enough, but do you know any Dead Sea facts or perhaps the reason as to why is the Dead Sea called the Dead Sea? Also isn’t it interesting to note that even if you are not an expert swimmer, still you can think of swimming in the Dead Sea because you would not go down. This leads to another question as to Why do you float in the Dead Sea?
Let us try to answer these two questions and then we will be in a position to move to our next topic which is interesting information as to What are Dead Sea Scrolls?
We begin by answering the first question that the Dead Sea gets its name from the fact that the salt content in the water is so high that no form of aquatic life can survive. The name ‘Dead Sea’ is derived from the Hebrew name ‘Yam ha Maved’, the literal translation of which is ‘Killer Sea’. Another name of the sea is ‘Salt Sea’.
Dead Sea Facts
Given below is a brief list of Dead Sea facts related to various aspects such as geographical location, composition and so forth. Also check out the map to have a clearer idea about its geographical location.
- Geographically speaking, the sea borders Israel and the West Bank on the west side and Jordan on the east side.
- The major source of water to the sea is the Jordan River.
- There are no streams flowing out and rainfall is scanty in the region.
- The surface and the shores of the sea are 422 meters below the sea level. With a depth of 378 meters, it is deepest saline lake in the world.
- It has some of the most saline waters on the earth. With 33.7% salinity, it is 8.6 times more salty than the ocean. There are only a handful of lakes that are known to have higher salinity than the Dead Sea.
As the depth of the sea increases, so does the salinity in the waters. The high salt content in the water results in negligible life in the waters of the sea. There are only a few types of bacteria and a certain type of algae that can be detected. Such high salt content proves deadly fro most forms of life. The salt precipitates from the water and deposits of the same can be seen on nearly everything. The salts that are found on nearly everything are mineral salts that are used in cosmetics and treatments revolving around skin care and hair care.
Since times immemorial, the region has attracted visitors towards. In the olden days the area was famous for its supplies of salt and minerals based products like balms and fertilizers. Today the salts precipitating from the sea are widely used in cosmetics and treatments for hair and skin.
Today it serves as a major center for health research and treatments. The factors that contribute for its popularity in this sphere are – high mineral content in the water, low presence of pollens and other allergy causing particles in the air, reduced effect of ultraviolet radiation and high atmospheric pressure. These factors have a unique effect on the human body and people suffering from various ailments like psoriasis, respiratory disorders, and fibrosis benefit from these special conditions. The Dead Sea is not deadly for humans! Just check out the video below where people are enjoying a mud bath near the Dead Sea
Environmental Concerns and the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea has not been immune to the environmental changes being experienced the world over. The Dead Sea is known to shrink as the waters from the Jordan River are being diverted due to increased agricultural and industrial activity in the region. The depth of the sea has gone down from 395 meters below sea level in 1970 to 418 meters in 2006. The pollution levels in the waters and the air have also experienced a rise affecting the popularity of the region for health treatments. However, both Israel and Jordan realize that the change in the water level would mean some subtle and some dramatic changes in the environment if stringent measures are not taken for conservation.
Why do you float in the Dead Sea?
Even non-swimmers have a wonderful time in the waters of the Dead Sea. We have already discussed the reasons for this above. Due to high salt content the water is denser than fresh water and ordinary sea water. It is this density of water that makes everyone and everything float in the waters of the Dead Sea. If you want to learn more about the Archimedes Principle and what makes a cruise ship float, read this article. This will also give you a basic understanding of the floatation principle.