The Dead Sea Facts
Lying in the heart of the Great Rift some 430m below sea level, between the Jordanian and the Judean deserts, the majestic Dead Sea is one of the jewels in the crown of nature. The deep lake has been well known for its healing qualities for thousands of years. Due to a shortage of water supply and over a million years of massive evaporation, the salinity of the Dead Sea gradually increased to the maximal rate of solubilization. The percentage of salt is almost 34% which places the Dead Sea among the four saltiest bodies of water on Earth.
Russian scholars who were the first to chemically analyze the water in 1911 titled the Dead Sea a “gold mine”. The sea is rich in precious minerals such as potassium, bromide and magnesium – all 3 manufactured both by Jordanian and Israeli companies to be marketed around the world. On its shores, broad deposits of the Dead Sea mud, rich with sulfur and many other minerals, are known for their healing and rejuvenating qualities.
The treasures of the Dead Sea were known to men since ancient times. Historians along the millennia describe the routes through which the Dead Sea salt was merchandized to the ancient world. The special asphalt of the sea was uniquely used in the process of mummification. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt convinced Marc Antony to give her this stripe from the province Judea. The ravishing queen was said to use the mud of the sea for preserving her own beauty.
The Dead Sea’s remedial virtues have always attracted travelers with skin diseases to come and attempt to cure the body while they enjoy a relaxing holiday. On top of its chemical virtues, being the lowest point on Earth is one of its greatest advantages concerning sun bathing, the best known treatment for psoriasis. Before reaching the Dead Sea surface, the radiation from the sun has to travel through extra 430m of air with the highest condensation. The immediate surrounding of the Dead Sea may be dry, but the massive evaporation creates a constant mist that hovers some 200-300m above the sea, naturally filtering UV and other harmful radiation. This enables safe sun bathing in the numerous solariums around the Dead Sea built especially for this purpose.
The uniqueness of the Judean and Jordan deserts enables abundant oases to thrive at the feet of the barren dry mountains. Many fresh water springs enable green spots, and attract a great variety of birds, reptiles and mammals – some of which are endemic to the Dead Sea shores. In winter time, hot sulfur springs offer a natural warm bath under the sky. Many hotels and resorts have pools of natural hot sulfur spring water at the heart of their spa centers.
The land around the sea is rich with attractions such as adventurous hikes alongside running rivers, reeds, mountain goats and hovering dragonflies. Plenty of historical and archaeological sites are open for visitors and offer wonderful landscapes of vivid colors, which are typically sunny and warm all year round.