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Despite it’s name the Dead Sea which is located between the borders of Israel and Jordan is actually a lake. Sitting in a valley almost 400m below sea level it’s positioned at not only thelowest point on Earth but also happens to be the second saltiest lake in the world (1st saltiest being lake Assal in Djibouti, Africa).

In fact it’s so salty (almost 8 times saltier than regular sea water) that nothing except small plants and salt loving

bacteria survive, explaining why it’s called the Dead Sea i.e. nothing in it survives.

Salt Makes You Float ?

Now despite very few things being able to survive one cool thing about the lake is that most things that enter it float. It’s a feature well publicized in both pictures and videos of tourists visiting the lake for it’s health & spa benefits.

The basic theory behind the floating is that salt water is much denser than regular water and it’s this density which makes the water much more buoyant. If you want to float on your back completely unaided whilst reading the newspaper, well that’s not a problem in the Dead Sea because it’s extremely salty!

The Dead Sea is Dieing

Unfortunately due to it’s climatic position almost 7 million tons of water evaporate from the lake every day. In addition to that both Israel and Jordan are tapping into the Jordan river (the Dead Sea’s main water source) for irrigation purposes at a rate which is depleting the lake to dangerous levels.

 

Combine that further with the recent droughts we’re seeing in the region and it’s quite clear that the famous lake is drying up with many parts already below the point of recovery.

About Mudzaffar Shah

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