The name “Dead Sea” is frightening. How can a sea die? However, it’s been called by that name for hundreds of centuries. Originally, it was called the Salt Sea as stated in the Hebrew Scriptures and mentioned in the Book of Genesis by the Prophets, if you are familiar with the Bible. During the Roman era however, the visitors who came upon it were struck by how it was devoid of living animals or vegetation, thus they called it Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is the world’s deepest hyper-saline body of water. Its deepest part reaches 304 metres or 997 feet. With the amount of salt the sea contains, Dead Sea floating is one of the reasons it is very attractive to tourists, as even non-swimmers get the chance to dip, bathe and float in it.
Now, let’s discover the many reasons why you can easily float in the Dead Sea.
- Geographically, the Dead Sea is a land-locked body of water in the Jordan Rift Valley bordered by Jordan to the east, with the West Bank and Israel to the west. It is the earth’s lowest point, as it is located 430.5 metres or 1,412 feet below sea level. Instead of sand along the shore, you’ll see salt crystals that form where the land meets the light turquoise seawater.
- The Dead Sea became hyper-saline because it is a catch basin for surface and rainwater. This means that the water comes in but cannot flow out because of its geographical position. With no means for water to escape, the only way for water to dissipate is to evaporate. The region is arid throughout the year, with temperatures soaring in summer, causing more water to evaporate. The sea has continuously evaporated since 65,000 years ago, concentrating the water’s minerals, the prominent one being salt.
- Anyone, even those who cannot swim, can manage to float in the Dead Sea. Science, physics in particular, has an explanation for this particular phenomenon. In regular water, you float because it makes room for your weight, pushing you up because you are lighter or less dense than water. However, if you do not know how to swim or at least float, you’ll sink after a time. The Dead Sea is very salty. Salt water is denser or heavier than ordinary water. Since people’s bodies are lighter, the denser water of the Dead Sea allows everyone to easily float in it even if you are only close to the shoreline where the water is shallow. The deeper you go into the water in the Dead Sea, the easier it is to float.
Floating is not the only thing you can enjoy when you visit the Dead Sea. The water, mineral salts and mud in and around the Dead Sea offer beauty and health benefits. These minerals are used for hair and skin treatments and cosmetics. Because of the extraordinary conditions that exist in the area, these minerals are hypoallergenic.