The Dead Sea is one of the most unique seas on planet Earth. It has a basin that is located more than 400 meters below sea level, being one of the lowest points on the planet and its waters are up to 6 times more salty than those of the rest of the Earth’s oceans. In addition, its name is really peculiar and it is that the amount of species of flora and fauna that there are is also a special topic.
Why we call it the Dead Sea
The reason why the Dead Sea is called in this way is that it is a sea with waters so extremely salty, that they make them very little recommended with thousands of black legends and supposed curses around it that have been told throughout the history. Its waters are so salty that they only allow the life of a few species of microorganisms and, it was said as a legend, that the birds that flew over it fell struck down in its waters.
Its waters are so salty, because the salts transported by the rivers remain trapped inside and do not evaporate. These very salty and dense waters are the deepest and in turn retain the salts at the bottom, which is why they are said to be fossilized.
Despite the almost total absence of life in its waters and in its surroundings, the only flora that can be seen growing in its environment are thorny bushes, acacias and bunches of grass and on its rocky slopes inhabits a species of wild goat, the ibex of Nubia, which has among its predators the eagles or the common vulture.
Although, Dead Sea is its name in Spanish, in Hebrew it is known as Yam Hamelach , whose meaning is Sea of Salt .
The Dead Sea is located about 80 km east of the Mediterranean , in a territory that is between the countries of Israel, Jordan and Palestine. As we said, its basin is located in a great natural depression 400 meters below sea level and with no outlet for the waters that reach it. It has a surface area of 1048 km2, about 80 km long and 18 km wide at its maximum pass, and its level remains more or less stable, due to evaporation given the hot and dry climate of that area.
The sea is surrounded by a rocky slope formed by shale, clays, marl, gypsum and other sediments (there is no sand or debris), formed during different geological periods.
The water from this sea, coming from the Jordan River, as well as some streams and the uadis (seasonal streams), has deeply eroded the strata, forming unique structures and exposing some that are around 550 million years old.
As early as 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the caves of Qumran , and they date back to about 300 years BC. Among them, papyri were found that reveal early history of Judaism and also several books of the Old Testament. Also, near the Dead Sea, the Bible placed the ancient city of Sodom, the city of sin.
Among some natural curiosities of the Dead Sea, it is that in its waters there is an unusual concentration of oxygen (more than 10% usual). This factor favors the relaxation of the body and brain and facilitates sleep. In addition, it has a high concentration of solid matter, the high rate of evaporation means that there is up to 20 times more bromide, 15 times more magnesium and 10 times more iodine than usual in the oceans.
The Dead Sea today
Near the Dead Sea are the Judean desert and the current city of Jericho, the oldest known human settlement (there are records from the 10th millennium BC). Its atmosphere invites to slow reflection or mental rest and it is surrounded by pleasant hotels and spas, with tourists from all over the world. From the road, you can see the Dead Sea salt flats and the receding sea level.