The Dead Sea is one of the most storied and mythical landmarks in the world and has been part of world history since the beginning of time. The Dead Sea plays a central role in biblical and Jewish history and has been at the centre of many myths and legends. But there is still much that is unknown about the area. Here are five surprising facts about the Dead Sea you probably didn’t know.
Where it got its Name From
You’re probably wondering why is the Dead Sea called the Dead Sea? Well, the reason is pretty simple. While the sea was called by many other names by various populations, it gained its name after many visitors coming in from Judea started calling it the Dead Sea because it was seemingly devoid of any life forms.
Also, back when the Jordan River used to flow from the Sea of Galilee to the south, fish and reeds would get swept down the river into the Dead Sea’s ultra-saline waters. And since no freshwater fish could possibly survive in the highly saline water, it was an instant death trap.
It has no Exit Points
The water flows down from the Jordan River mainly but does not flow out. And if you’re wondering why the water levels don’t continually rise without an exit point, the intense heat in the region evaporates the water at a rate higher than the water flows in, so flooding doesn’t occur.
It has an “Interesting” Smell
If you haven’t been to the region, then you may not know that the Dead Sea has a rather unique odour. The air in the region is very high in sulphur, which is the compound that gives rotten eggs their distinctive stench. This is why many people who visit the region mention that it smells like rotten eggs. The sulphur smell comes mainly from hot springs along the way.
The Area is Known for Sinkholes
The area around the Dead Sea is prone to sinkholes and visitors in the area are advised to exercise caution. The reason for the sinkholes is because of continuous water erosion. The salty Dead Sea water recedes which allows fresh water to seep through rock formations, dissolving the salt beneath and leaving huge holes which can collapse over time.
The Sun and Air are Healthier there
Another interesting fact that comes from the Dead Sea’s unique position as the lowest point on Earth is that UV rays aren’t as powerful and harmful there as in other regions. This is because the Dead Sea is the point on Earth farthest away from the sun. The air’s high oxygen concentration also helps. And the air in the area is also very low in pollen, which is great for people dealing with allergy issues or respiratory problems like asthma, for instance.
The Dead Sea remains full of mysteries and new things to discover. Make sure that you have a visit to the region at the top of your bucket list if you want to see this natural wonder up close.