15 Things You Might Not Know About the Dead Sea

By Rachael Funk


A trip to Israel wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Dead Sea, which stretches between Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel. The ultimate spa destination, this hypersaline lake is easy to float in and has tons of health benefits. Here are 15 interesting facts about one of the world’s most fascinating wellness destinations.


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The Dead Sea is actually not a sea, but a salt water lake. In fact, with a salt concentration of over 30%, it is one of the saltiest lakes in the world.


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The salinity of the Dead Sea is almost 10 times higher than the ocean!


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At 1,237 feet deep, the Dead Sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world.


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The incredibly high concentration of salt in the water means that floating in the Dead Sea is very easy. Thanks to natural buoyancy, even poor swimmers might find the courage to go for a dip!


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Though miniscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi can be present, the high salinity in the water creates a harsh environment for fish and animals. These impossible living conditions are how the Dead Sea got its name.


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The Dead Sea is 42 miles long and 11 miles wide, fed mostly by the Jordan River and rainfall.


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The Dead Sea sits 1,412 feet below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation on land.


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A major center for health research and treatment, the area around the Dead Sea is thought to have health benefits thanks to the mineral content of the water, reduced ultraviolet components of solar radiation, and higher atmospheric pressure.


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Unlike table salt, the salt in the Dead Sea is very bitter. It is used to treat a variety of skin ailments such as psoriasis, acne, and hives, as well as muscle aches and pain and is said to be a great stress reducer!


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It is said that the Dead Sea was one of Cleopatra's favorite places. She was so fond of the lake that resorts and cosmetic factories were built along its shores.


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The lake is split into two parts. The Northern area is geared mostly toward tourism and wellness and the southern part is mostly dedicated around the industrial usage of salts.


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Minerals and salts from the Dead Sea are used for making herbal sachets and cosmetics, while the black mud is known worldwide for its theraputic benefits.


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Interestingly, the Dead Sea continually spits up pebbles of asphalt. Asphalt coated figurines and bitumen-coated Neolithic skulls from archaeological sites have been found discharged from the lake.


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There are also various Biblical ties to the Dead Sea. It is said to be a place of refuge for King David and scriptural writings tie John the Baptist and Jesus Christ to the area as well.


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The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in eleven caves along the northwest shore of the Sead Sea sometime betw3een the late 1940s and early 1950s. The event has been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times.

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