Also known as the lowest place on Earth, the Dead Sea is full of surprises. It is nearly ten times as salty as the ocean, making it one of the saltiest water bodies in the world. The Dead Sea, as the name suggests, also does not have any visible life, as the salinity makes it extremely difficult for aquatic plants and animals to survive.
The sea is actually popular for a number of reasons. Apart from the historical significance which the Dead Sea holds, it is also well known for its high levels of buoyancy.
Read on to find out some more interesting facts about the Dead Sea.
- With a surface and shores that are nearly 1,400 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest elevation point on Earth.
- Being a hypersaline lake, the Dead Sea is also ranked as the world’s deepest. To clarify, a hypersaline lake is any body of water surrounded by land which has considerably greater amounts of sodium chloride than an ocean. There are also multiple other mineral salts present in the Dead Sea. With a depth of 1,237 feet, the Dead Sea beats other popular hypersaline lakes like the Great Salt Lake and Lake Assal in depth. Lake Retba in Senegal has a salinity of 40%, making it the saltiest lake outside of Antarctica.
- The high salt content in the water of the Dead Sea makes it extremely buoyant. This means that people can easily float on the surface of the Dead Sea without the fear of drowning.
- Even though aquatic life cannot survive in the Dead Sea, there are still bacteria and microbial fungi present in the waters of this hypersaline lake. Recent research has also shown that new life forms are being discovered at the base of the Dead Sea in fresh water springs.
- The Dead Sea is located in the Jordan Rift Valley and has a length of 42 miles. The maximum width of the Dead Sea is 11 miles and it is fed by the Jordan River.
- The lowest place on Earth is also home to the lowest road on the planet. Highway 90 is a road located 1,289 feet below sea level on the Israeli shore of the Dead Sea.
- The Dead Sea itself is nearly 3 million years old!
- The Dead Sea was known to provide a variety of medicinal products. It is also one of the world’s most popular health resorts, and people, from Herod the Great, to Cleopatra, have recognized its medicinal properties. The Dead Sea and its minerals are, to this day, known to have a great effect on multiple medical conditions including psoriasis and asthma.
- The Dead Sea has great historical and religious significance. It is also known as the place of refuge for King David according to the Bible.
- Most people may not know this but the Dead Sea has great discharges of asphalt. This asphalt even rises to the surface of the Dead Sea at times. The asphalt was also used by Egyptians for their mummification process.