A wonder of nature, the Dead Sea is also sometimes known by the name Salt Sea. On its west is Israel and Palestine and on its east is Jordan. There is a funny joke about this water body. It goes something like this: A boy once went to school where he was asked what he knows about the sea. To this, the boy replied – “Dead? I didn’t even know it was sick!”
Regardless the associated fun and humor, Dead Sea continues to be a subject of interest for millions of people all around the world. So, let us today learn 25 interesting Dead Sea facts.
Interesting Dead Sea Facts 1-5
1. It is called Dead Sea but the truth is that it is not a sea. It is actually a salt water lake.
2. It is world’s deepest salt water lake to exist on this planet. It is 1,004 feet or 306 meters deep.
3. If we are to measure the depth of Dead Sea with respect to sea level of this planet, it becomes even deeper. Its shores and the water surface are located 1,401 feet or 427 meters below sea level, making it a water body on Earth’s lowest elevation of land.
4. This hypersaline lake is one of the most salty lakes in this world. The salt concentration of Dead Sea is 33.7%. But this does not make it the saltiest water body because Caspian Sea’s Lagoon Garabogazköl has 35% salinity, Lake Assal in central-western Djibouti has 34.8% salinity, Antarctica’s Lake Vanda has 35% salinity and Don Juan Pond located in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys has 44% salinity!
5. Because Dead Sea is actually a lake, it has to have a measurable length and breadth. At its widest point, the lake is 9 miles or 15 kilometers wide and the total length of the lake is 50 kilometers.
Interesting Dead Sea Facts 6-10
6. The salinity of Dead Sea is way more than that of normal sea. According to scientists, this water body is 9.6 times saltier than oceans and contains very high concentration of sodium chloride along with other minerals.
7. Because of its extreme salinity, no life form can thrive in this water. That’s the reason why this salty lake is known as Dead Sea. However, this is not entirely true. During rainy seasons, salinity decreases to certain extent, making the water habitable for some bacteria. That’s all! No other life form can be found.
8. Yes, Dead Sea cannot support life but it is useful in several healthcare and treatment types. The pollen content of this lake is extremely low. It is also free of other allergens. On top of it, it is the home of different types of minerals. Also, solar UV radiation is greatly reduced near Dead Sea. Additionally, atmospheric pressure near this lake is high because of its low elevation. These factors together make it beneficial for human health.
9. Dead Sea has a very unusual phenomenon. It spits out asphalt almost constantly. Asphalt used in ancient Egypt for mummification was imported from Dead Sea. Because of this unusual asphalt spitting phenomenon, the Greeks named the Dead Sea as Lake Asphaltites.
10. Water never flows out of Dead Sea because it is surrounded by land on three sides. The only open side is actually the route through which water enters Dead Sea from rivers and streams.
Interesting Dead Sea Facts 11-15
11. Unlike our table salt, the Dead Sea salt is extremely bitter. This bitter salt helps to treat a variety of skin ailments like psoriasis, cellulite, acne, hives, etc. It also helps to reduce stress, dandruff and muscle aches and pain because of osteoarthritis. It is also used for treating rhinosinusitis.
12. There is no doubt that Dead Sea is a wonder of Nature. To increase its appeal, Nature placed it in yet another natural wonder. This lake is at the deepest point of Great Rift Valley, which by itself is a great wonder because it is the longest geographic phenomenon of this world extending to a length of 4,000 miles. The Great Rift Valley passes through 20 countries.
13. This lake is the primary source of potassium used worldwide for agricultural processes.
14. The region around Dead Sea consists of 618 acres of date palms.
15. Around 50% of local economy is made of agricultural produce near Dead Sea region.
Interesting Dead Sea Facts 16-20
16. Arabian Babbler and different other species of birds live around Dead Sea region throughout the year.
17. Throughout the year, the climate of Dead Sea remains dry and sunny. Annual rainfall is less than 50 millimeters.
18. The Dead Sea is a prehistoric lake, the history of which dates back to some 2 to 3.7 million years.
19. Dead Sea was Cleopatra’s one of the most favorite places. She was so fond of the lake that resorts and cosmetic factories were ordered to be built along the shores of the Dead Sea.
20. The Dead Sea has various Biblical ties. Biblical writings closely tie Jesus Christ and John Baptist to the Dead Sea. It is also being said in Bible that there will be a day when the Dead Sea will spring back to life and marine life form will not only survive but thrive in this sea.
Interesting Dead Sea Facts 21-25
21. Mentions of Dead Sea can be found in Aristotle’s writings as well.
22. According to Bible, King David took refuge near Dead Sea.
23. For Herod the Great, Dead Sea became the first health resort of the wall.
24. Today minerals and salts from Dead Sea are extensively used for making herbal sachets and cosmetics.
25. Many centuries ago, Dead Sea was known by the name ‘Stinky Sea’.
We have completed our list of 25 interesting facts about Dead Sea. However, there is one more thing that is worth mentioning. Have your ever heard people saying that ‘No one can sink in dead sea’?
No One Sinks In Dead Sea But People May Drown!
We have a weird notion about drowning. Most of us believe that one can only drown when he or she sinks in water. This is absolutely not true. Drowning is different than sinking. A person who sinks is drowned but a person who is drowned may not sink. A person may sink in a bucket or even 30 mm of water! Read about 15 Interesting Drowning Facts.
Coming to Dead Sea, when someone says that a PERSON CANNOT SINK, it is absolutely true but that does not mean that a person cannot drown. If someone says that A PERSON CANNOT DROWN IN DEAD SEA, that is absolutely wrong! A PERSON CAN DROWN IN DEAD SEA.
Dead Sea is extremely saline. This extremely high salt concentration makes the density of water in Dead Sea 1.240 kg/L. This is more that the density of human body. As a result, a person can stay afloat on the water of Dead Sea and will never sink because of its natural buoyancy. Already feeling safe?
BUT… (Sorry for ruining your happy feeling)
This very high density of water makes any kind of movement extremely difficult. As long as you float on Dead Sea on your back (you face the sky) you are safe and there is nothing to worry about. All you have to do is keep your head well above the water.
If accidentally, you flip and your back faces the sky and you’re face down in water, you are in trouble. If you are a very strong and good swimmer, you may succeed to turn back to see the sky but in case you are a terrible (for your comfort, bad) swimmer, you simply cannot turn on your back.
Your face will dip in water and you will be forced to drink that deadly brine and even inhale it and open the doorway to your lungs for that super salty water. Result? You are dead!
The massive concentration of salt disrupts electrolyte balance throughout the body when the water from Dead Sea gets in and thereby totally disrupting kidney and heart functions.
Because of the extreme salinity of the water that enters the body and lungs, water from blood rushes out in an attempt to dilute the salt concentration and the blood thickens. This puts extreme pressure on heart and cardiac arrest becomes inevitable. So essentially you will drown but you will not sink!