Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea - also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering 
Jordan to the east, and Israel (and the West Bank) to the west. 
 The Sea surface is is 427 meters (1401 feet) BELOW sea 
level, and the lowest land elevation on Earth.  


When you go into high altitude, it is common for your ears to pop.  It's the same when you go BELOW sea level.   I had a bit of dizziness and ear trouble every single time we went below sea level.  It's the first time I have ever experienced going BELOW sea level so I was surprized at my body's reaction.  It was totally unexpected and interesting that the altitudes affect you the same - either direction.  
Mother gets her feet wet in the Dead Sea! 
The Dead Sea receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. 
Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have 
nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail 
of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine 
with some of its finest products.
Janet puts on the clay for a full body treatment.  You can feel the tingling of the salt! 
The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem 
to the west, giving it an incredible beauty. Although sparsely populated and 
very quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: 
Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar (Bela).

Many of the visitors covered with clay! 
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to fertilizers.   People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.  
Such a lovely look!  :) 
The Dead Sea's unusually high salt concentration means that people can 
easily float in the Dead Sea due to natural buoyancy.  In fact, it is 
actually difficult to get your feet DOWN! :) 

With 34.2% salinity, the Dead Sea is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. 
One of the men in our group! 
  The Dead Sea is roughly 9.6 times saltier than the ocean.  This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals can not flourish.  The high salinity prevents fish and aquatic plants from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and fungi are present.  
Mother and our guide, Rivkah, enjoy the sunshine!  
It was a great experience and a chance of a lifetime to visit the Dead Sea.  
We purchased Dead Sea Clay from the local shop and left with lots of good memories.  

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