The Dead Sea

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The Dead Sea is the modern name for what Arabs called Bahr Lut (the sea of Lot) and what Greeks called the Asphaltetes, and the Hebrews called the Eastern or Salt Sea. At 33% saline 1 nothing can live in this water, and the water is dead. Unlike the Aral Sea that only became this way recently, the Dead Sea has been this way for thousands of years.

Where on Earth

The Dead Sea is
located on the border of Jordan and Israel at Longitude= 35° 23' to 35° 30' East and Latitude= 30° 58' to 31° 46' North. It was well known to Biblical Patriarchs and Prophets, including Abraham, David, and Ezekial. This is the body into which The Jordan River flows and which has no outlet (except to pools where salt is dried and processed). In the deep water chunks of asphalt sometimes float to the surface. This is why Greeks gave it the name Asphaltetes. In addition to the Jordan River there are four other main streams that flow off the Plateau. However, the combined total of this water seldom ever raises the viability of the water.

Geologically, this is the lowest portion of the Jordon Rift Valley and sources say it is about three million years old. The shore sits at 423 meters(1388 feet) below sea level, making it the lowest dry spot on the surface of the Earth. The deepest part is in the North and the shallowest is to the South.

A large (six mile wide) Peninsula protrudes from the south and is visible from the Fortress Masada which overlooks the SW part of the lake. The Essene community lived nearby and stored the Dead Sea Scrolls in caves on the NW shore.

Anybody For A Swim?

As the salt and mineral content increases the water becomes more dense and floating becomes easier. People float higher in the Dead Sea because of the high salt content. However you would want to take a shower before all that stuff dried on your skin.
Also, being that far below Sea level the atmospheric pressure is higher and the UV content of sunlight is lower. This in addition to the lack of pollen and availability of mineral baths has made this some peoples idea of a good spot to put a health spa.

1 This is Twice the salt per litre of the Aral Sea,and Twenty times that of the Caspian Sea.

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