5 Amazing Wonders of the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, or the Salt Sea, is a hypersaline lake situated between Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. Though its name may sound threatening, the Dead Sea has been a popular, sought out destination for thousands of years for its healing properties and abundant natural resources. Today, it remains one of the natural wonders of the world.
Here are five facts about the lowest point on earth, that you may not know about:
1. It brings health and healing. The Dead Sea region has become an internationally-known hotspot for research activity, health treatment, and general wellness. There are several reasons why the Dead Sea has proven to be a source of relief from numerous ailments such as psoriasis, asthma, heart conditions, arthritis, and digestive disorders, including Crohns disease:
- The water of the Dead Sea possesses a combination of therapeutic salts and minerals that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. This composition of salt and minerals are known to nourish the skin, stimulate blood circulation and reduce swelling, among other therapeutic effects.
- The mud lining the sea bed and along the shore has the same mix of minerals found in the water. Applying Dead Sea mud directly to the skin can help the body absorb the minerals faster. Many have used natural Dead Sea “mud masks” to treat an assortment of skin and circulatory conditions, such as psoriasis, hives, and rheumatism.
- The air around the Dead Sea is dry, with practically no pollen or other allergens, and has a higher than average oxygen density. All of these factors together aid in the treatment of a number of respiratory conditions, particularly asthma. The high levels of airborne bromine and magnesium also work to relieve tension.
2. Even the sun is good for you. For years, health professionals having been warning us about the harmful effects of the sun's Ultra Violet (UV) light on our skin and have been encouraging us to lather on the sunscreen. Since the sun is out year round in this area, one may think that sun burns are a problem. But thanks to the fact that it sits some 417 meters below sea level, the UV light that reaches the Dead Sea region has been mostly filtered. This allows visitors to enjoy and benefit from the healthier parts of the solar rays.
3. It's really salty. The water in the Dead Sea is almost 10 times more salty than the water in the ocean. In fact, it's one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world and the deepest hypersaline lake. Part of the reason for its high salt concentration is the fact that water flows into the Dead Sea from the Jordan River, but has no outlet to flow back out. In hot the sun, the water evaporates leaving the salt behind.
Visitors will find little to no life at the Dead Sea (Thus it's name). The high salt level creates a uninhabitable atmosphere that prevents most organisms, such as fish and other marine life, from flourishing. But, one fun result of the hyper-salty environment is that visitors can easily float, almost sit, on top of the water.
4. It was famous even in Biblical times. The Dead Sea has been host to a number of Biblical figures, such as King David, Herod the Great, and even Cleopatra who recognized even then the region's health and cosmetic benefits. The Dead Sea was also an ancient source of asphalt, balsam used for mummification by the Egyptians, and potassium-rich salt used for fertilizer.
5. It's disappearing! The Dead Sea has been rapidly disappearing over the past decade at a rate of almost 1 meter a year. In fact, the sea's surface has shrunk about 40% since 1930. Partly to blame for this recession are agricultural demands for fresh water. As water has been directed out of the Jordan River, it means less water is flowing into the sea. Conservationists are currently looking for ways to preserve this special region.
In short, the unique environment and health benefits of the Dead Sea make it a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world.
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