Dead Sea Facts

Between Israel and Jordan lies the Dead Sea, a salt lake located on the lowest point of Earth’s surface. Its basin lies some 1,300 feet (400 meters) below sea level, making it the lowest body of water in the world. The lake is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) long and 11 miles (18 kilometers) wide.

Why is it called a Dead Sea?

Dead Sea Salt Raw
Dead Sea Salt Raw

In this respect the Dead Sea is similar to the Great Salt Lake in Utah in the United States. The Dead Sea is roughly 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish (hence its name).

What kind of salt is in the Dead Sea?
The waters of the Dead Sea are very unique, having a total salt concentration that is 10 times higher than ocean water, reaching 33% versus 3%. The composition of the brines is also unique, comprising magnesium, potassium and calcium chlorides, in addition to a high concentration of bromides.

What minerals are found in the Dead Sea?

Guaranteed Mineral Composition of Genuine Dead Sea Salts:

Mineral Typical Range
Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) 33.3 31.0 – 35.0
Potassium Chloride (KCl) 24.3 20.0 – 28.0
Sodium Chloride (NaCl) 5.5 3.0 – 8.0
Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) 0.2 0.1 – 0.5
Bromide (Br-) 0.5 0.3 – 0.6
Sulphates (SO4) 0.15 0.05 – 0.2
Insolubles 0.03 0 – 0.3
Water of Crystallization 36.4 32.0 – 40.0

What are the benefits of Dead Sea salt?
Soaking in water enriched with this salt is known to benefit the body from the inside out, treating skin conditions and improving internal processes. … Dead Sea Salts contain 21 minerals including magnesium, calcium, sulfur, bromide, iodine, sodium, zinc and potassium.

What is the Dead Sea salt used for?
Dead Sea salt has a low percentage of sodium content and a high percentage of minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Dead Sea salt is beneficial for several skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and eczema; the exfoliating properties remove dead skin cells to reveal a clear, smooth complexion.

Did you know (watch the video):

Is there any life in the Dead Sea?
This is the Dead Sea. … There are no plants, fish, or any other visible life in the sea. Its salt concentration is a staggering 33.7%, 8.6 times saltier than ocean water, which is only about 3.5% salt.

What types of bacteria live in the Dead Sea?
Salt Needed: Tolerance Lessons from a Dead Sea Fungus. Despite its name, the Dead Sea does support life, and not just in the sense of helping visitors float in its waters. Algae, bacteria, and fungi make up the limited number of species that can tolerate the extremely salty environment at the lowest point on Earth.

Can you go swimming in the Dead Sea?
Rivka Stein, Well-read Atheist who has lived in Israel. You don’t “swim” in the dead sea, you simply float. Preferably, do it leaning on your back, lying or sitting. The most common thing people talk about (which is true) is that the flotation is very significant and you can literally “sit” on the water.

Can you drown in the Dead Sea?
All this salt has contributed to the myth that people cannot drown in the Dead Sea. It’s true that they can’t drown in the conventional way – slipping below the surface of the water. The more salt is dissolved in water, the denser it becomes. … The Dead Sea was named the second most dangerous place to swim in Israel.

Why do you float in the Dead Sea?
Since you are lighter (less dense) than water, the water pushes you up enough for you to float. The Dead Sea has a LOT of salt in it. It is 8 -10 times saltier than the oceans of the world. Salt water is heavier (denser) than regular water. People can float in regular water, but since salt water is even denser, it is even easier to float in the Dead Sea.

Why is there so much salt in the Dead Sea?
Almost nothing lives in the water. The Dead Sea is landlocked and in the lowest valley on earth. All the minerals of the surrounding countryside get washed into one pool, which in turn gets baked by the sun. This concentrates the salts so much that the Dead Sea is 10 times as salty as the ocean.

Articles related to the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea area has been attracting health tourists seeking treatments for more than 2,000 years, and is now a center for health research.
Experts say the mineral content of the water, lower levels of pollens and allergen in the atmosphere, and higher atmospheric pressure, have health benefits.
It has been found that people with respiratory diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, have appeared to benefit from increased atmospheric pressure.
Experts exploit features such as the temperature and humidity to treat patients with psoriasis, who benefit from sunbathing in the area due to its position below sea level and fewer UV rays.
People with rhino sinusitis or sinusitis, typically receive saline nasal irrigation to relieve their symptoms.
It’s also been suggested that Dead Sea mud pack therapy relieves pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knees.

According to Gidon Bromberg, Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East;
“That demise of the Dead Sea is not global climate change — it’s policies of the governments here in the region,” said Bromberg.
Most of the water of the Jordan River, which feeds the Dead Sea, is diverted to other uses, Bromberg said.

The effect is to starve the Dead Sea of its only source of replenishment. The industry mining the sea for its minerals also promotes evaporation,  Bromberg said.

Canal plan to avert crisis
Last year, Israel and Jordan signed a deal on a $900 million plan to build a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
The waterway, running approximately 124 miles between the two seas, would provide drinking water to the two countries while pumping water into the Dead Sea to stabilize its levels.

This summer, 17 companies offered bids to build the canal, which is expected to take four to five years to complete. When finished it will pump hundreds of millions of cubic meters of water per year into the Dead Sea.