The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth and also the saltiest lake — yes, it’s actually a saltwater lake, despite its name. It has an incredible chemical composition jampacked with minerals. This means that things (basically) can’t live in it — that is why it is called the Dead Sea.
It’s even getting lower and saltier all the time
The sweltering weather and lack of rain mean more water evaporates other than flows into the lake. This means that the salt becomes more concentrated, as do other minerals such as magnesium, potassium and sodium. Another factor for the dropping water levels by several feet a year is that the rivers get diverted for agricultural and industrial use.
It’s estimated that if the decrease carries on at pretty much the same rate, the Dead Sea could dry up completely by 2050. So you might want to take the chance to visit it while you can and benefit from its health properties to the fullest.
Since Biblical times, the waters and mud of the Dead Sea have been known for their healing properties. They are the source of popular cures for skin problems, beauty products, and raw materials for mineral factories. It’s so dense and salty you can actually float in it!
Yes — really float — with no effort at all. You will automatically feel the lake’s natural buoyancy as soon as you wade in the waters. In fact, you probably can’t sink (although we don’t advise that you try). Just spread your limbs and the Dead Sea will do the rest — it’s a great experience! You can even “lie” down on the surface of the dense waters and read a book.
But if you have any cuts and scrapes or the salt gets into your eyes – now that is real pain! The burning sensation will make you really wince or even scream, depending on your level of sensitivity to pain.
About the cuts — if you are not aware of their existence — the water will find them by itself!! Just take it easy and don’t get it in your eyes and make sure that you shower properly afterwards.
There are lots of sun here — so be generous with the screen, hats and drinks — drink and then drink again. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated!
So what are you waiting for? Go on, get in, and cover yourself with mud!
Floating in the Dead Sea is one of the classic “must-do’s” of any Israel holiday
Take a picture floating in the water reading the paper (make sure that the paper is the right way up and that you are not using an iPad!)
Who looks coolest when covered head to toe with mud?
And don’t forget to watch the sunset! It is one of the most extraordinary and spectacular sights you will ever see.
Guaranteed best holiday snaps down here – half a day of fun and digital memories for ever. For more of our images see Dead Sea Photos
You can also make a difference to the Dead Sea. It is a candidate to be declared one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. You can vote for the Dead Sea here