The Dead Sea
photo by James Byrum

Stretched at the lowest point of the earth -422m below sea level- the thin body of salty water is the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world, and the world's saltiest water, with 33.7% salinity, that is about 8,6 times as salty as the ocean. Because of the difficult environment, the existence of a various wild life is obviously impossible. Life for any type of fish is out of the question, just a certain green algae and some red archaebacteria give the water a greenish-milky color, also from the minerals. 67 kilometers (42 mi) long and 18 kilometers (11 mi) wide at its widest point, the Dead sea's main water source is the Jordan River, but as the rivers water has been exploited in irrigation projects, the water that is left easily evaporates because of the dry climate, and therefore less and less of it ends up in the Dead Sea. Every year, the water lever has been decreasing 1 m (3 ft).

But still the Dead Sea is world known for the mud that has different healing powers, the healthy air - that contains 10% more oxygen than normal, and, mud packing - improves blood circulation; it is also known for cosmetic benefits and several other types of therapies (climatotherapy, thalassotherapy, heliotherapy) and . persons suffering reduced respiratory functions find it a very therapeutic experience because of the unpolluted, pollen-free and very dry air that due to its structure also reduces solar radiation.

With the water level dropping alarmingly, the Dead Sea is dying every year a bit, although its disappearance is not a real possibility, as evaporation process slows when salinity increases and water surface area decreases. But the sea's characteristics are definitely changing.

So before it's too late, leave your body completely out of control and see how flowing on the saltiest water in the world feels like.

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

James Byrum, bachmont, Laura Padgett, joe goldberg, Chalky Lives, momo

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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