Facts About the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is not really a sea, it is actually a land locked lake between Israel and Jordon. The extreme salinity of the water excludes any animal or vegetable life.
The Dead Sea is located between Jordan and Israel in the Syro-African rift a 4000 mile fault line. It Lies between the hills of Judea to the west and the transjordanic plateaus to the east. The northern half of the Dead Sea belongs to Jordan and it’s southern half is divided between Jordan and Israel. The river Jordan flows from the north into the Dead Sea.
At 400 metre’s below sea level the shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest points of dry land on the earth.
The Dead Sea is 80 km long and 16 km wide making it one of the smallest seas in the world.The depth of the sea varies from 3 metre’s to 397 metre’s at it’s deepest point. As water cannot flow out, over 7 million tons of water evaporate per day from the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is situated in a desert. Rainfall is minimal and sparse. Because of the low altitude and sheltered location, winter temperatures are mild and pleasant ranging from 14 to 17 degrees. However in summer the temperatures range from 34 to 51 degrees.
The Dead Sea can be traced back to Hellenistic epoch (323 to 30 BC). It has been associated with biblical history since the time of Abraham. The rivers of the lake offered refuge to David (King of Israel) and later Herod 1 the King of Judea. It has been known by a number of different names “The Salt Sea” “The Sea of Arabah” “The Eastern Sea” and the “Sea of Lot” The unique concentration of minerals that exist within the waters and mud of the Dead Sea have long been known for their medicinal properties by prominent historical figures such as Aristotle, The Queen of Sheba, King Soloman and Cleopatra. It is rumoured that Cleopatra ordered Mark Anthony to seize control of the sea so she could build cosmetic factories! One of the first factories built to harness the potential of the salt and minerals for commercial purposes was a potash factory built near the river mouth of the Jordan in 1929.
Tourism and Health Spa’s
The Dead Sea has built a world wide reputation as a natural healing centre for numerous health conditions especially those associated with skin related problems. Research institutes have been built to provide ongoing scientific research into the health properties of the Dead Sea.