At the very lowest point on earth lies a natural wonder replete with a unique ecosystem, breathtaking desert views, and mineral treasures that have been attracting visitors for thousands of years: The Dead Sea. Located in the desert in southern Israel, it is also the world’s deepest hypersaline lake. Although the high salinity of the water makes it almost impossible to dive, in this article we will delve deep into its geological origins, geography and history, become familiar with the biology and chemistry of this unique environment and discover everything there is to do and where to stay in the area surrounding this natural gem.

The Dead Sea is a salt lake located in the Judean desert of southern Israel, bordered by Jordan to the East. With its origin dating back to some four million years ago, it is one of earth’s saltiest bodies of water and is the lowest point on earth. Its arid desert climate features year-round sunny skies, relatively high temperatures, with little precipitation.

The Dead Sea is located at the lowest point on earth, which is thought to be the result of volcanic processes leading to a continuous dropping of land. It is one of the four saltiest bodies of water in the world. These special conditions are an outcome of its extreme geomorphological structure alongside a harsh desert climate. These create constant dramatic changes that form a landscape that is different from any other in the world. Also, the unique mineral content of the air, land, and water in the area is globally renowned for its therapeutic qualities, as is evident in that it has been a health resort for thousands of years.

There are contending theories about the Dead Sea formation. About 3.7 million years ago, the area now known as the Jordan River Valley was repeatedly flooded by water from the Mediterranean Sea. The waters created a lagoon called the Sedom Lagoon, which connected to the sea through what is currently called the Jezreel Valley. Later on, about 2 million years ago, the land between this lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent, that the sea could no longer flood the area, leading to the creation of a landlocked lake. Shifts in tectonic plates led to the rising and dropping of the floor of the valley, and the harsh desert climate led to gradual evaporation and shrinking of the lake, until finally, about 70,000 years ago, what remained was the Dead Sea with its low elevation.

Until the end of the 1960s, the Jordan River was the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the lake, forming pools and quicksand pits along its edges. Today, after the diversion of the waters from the Sea of Galilee, the only incoming source of water is from sulfur springs and waste water, along with rare drizzles and flash floods.

Credit : Deadsea.com

Picture Credit : Google 

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