Dead Sea

The Dead Sea: A Body of Water With Multiple Properties

Have you ever imagined what could be the lowest point of the Earth? The Dead Sea would be the answer. Rather calling it a salty lake would be appropriate. The percentage of the salt content of other water bodies is about eight to nine percent lesser. The salinity of the waters has prevented aquatic flora and fauna to grow. Moreover, threats of arid climate combined with agricultural needs, acute shortage of water have resulted. Additionally, the population rise in Jordan has caused the shrinkage problem. Though it is being fed by the Jordan river, it is insufficient.

Dead Sea
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Why the Dead Sea

Far apart from normal water, it makes it feel like olive oil mixed with sand. Further, because of heaviness, you float but cannot sink. For decades, visitors flocked to this place for photography purposes. For retaining memories about the amazing water properties, a snap floating with a newspaper or book in hand is quite familiar. Further, people from ancient ages believed something extraordinary prevailed in this area. Hence, if you don’t visit The Dead Sea during your trip to Jordan, you have not completed it.

Floating in the Dead Sea at sunset
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Some Geographical Facts of The Dead Sea

The sea is located at the junction of Jordan and Israel. As you travel to the shore you can experience a pressure variation similar to planes while alighting. On your way, the holy waters can be visited that flow between the Israel and Jordan borders. Heated weather prevails all year round. Because of hotness, the waters of the sea start evaporating. The density of salinity increases and more shrinkage can be observed.

A point will come that the evaporation will reach equilibrium. Moreover, shrinking has been noticed at a rapid rate but chances of disappearance are not feasible. The Dead Sea water level decreases by three feet each year. Hence, the planets below sea level elevation get recalibrated each year.

It is a peculiar phenomenon, the seawater doesn’t feel like normal water, rather olive oil mixed with sand. The richness of salt and minerals available. The mud formed has exceptional value. Not only cosmetic ingredients, but they have significant health values.

Dead Sea
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Some Tips

  • Approaching The Dead Sea is possible from Jordan as well as Israel.
  • The months of spring i.e.March, April, and May. Additionally, months in Autumn i.e October or November are appropriate seasons to visit the dead sea. 
  • As for the VISA requirement to get entry, the visa on arrival has been rolled out. It would be best to check online for further details.
  • The mud with great hygienic value, smearing all over the body produces another form of enjoyment.
  • How cool would it be to float on water and read a newspaper? In the dead sea, there is no risk of drowning.
  • To avoid dehydration, better stay away from the saline water of The Dead Sea 
  • Salt deposits may leave you with an itchy consequence if you do not shower after a swim in the sea.
  • The waters of the saline sea will harm your eyes. Better protect them
  • Always lay on your back while floating. Remember, the water is saline.
  • Shaving or cuts must be avoided, which could lead to severe burning sensations.
  • You might have an impression that mud cushions on the seafloor will make your trail easier. But be careful of the sharp rocks and salt stones. So, it would be advisable to protect your feet. Hence, wear protective shoes.
Floating on Dead Sea
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Vital Secrets of Minerals Available in The Dead Sea

Reviewing human body anatomy and its resemblance to a piece of highly sophisticated machinery. The only differences are the brain and nervous system. Otherwise, for proper functioning, both need nourishment. However, for humans, vitamins and minerals are important. While some minerals are produced within the body, some need to be acquired externally. The notable minerals are iodine, potassium, calcium, and sodium. However, a balanced diet and drinks might replenish human bodies according to the need. Further direct contact with the seawater or mud therapy can help against probable diseases. 

Dead Sea
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Medical Tourism of The Dead Sea

Every year, a lot of visitors flock to The Dead Sea to avail themselves of mud treatment and salt baths. Moreover, the mud from the dead sea contains minerals like calcium oxide, chlorides, bromides, etc. which form a good agent for skin rejuvenation. Besides, patients with arthritis, different allergies, or psoriasis come here for treatment.

Healing Properties

What kind of ailments can the sea mud of the dead sea heal?

  • The solution to treat skin ailments like acne and psoriasis can be treated by sea salt.
  • Allergic inflammation can be treated
  • Soaking yourself in the dead sea is a way to treat arthritis
  • If you want to look younger, The Dead Sea mud with a mineral composite of chlorides and bromides may help
  • For glowing skin, the sea mud is unique

Commercial

Understanding the benefits of the mud, different industries on the shore have started making cosmetics. Tourists buy them as souvenirs for their useful purpose. Besides, a lot of spas have cropped up along with resorts bordering the dead sea allowing ailing patients to avail service at costs.

Therapies Possible at The Dead Sea

Dead sea tour suffices requisites for Health Tourism. Not only the minerals in water but also the atmosphere. Low ultraviolet rays emitted from surveys, air free from allergens, pollens existing in surroundings, accompanied with a higher atmospheric pressure at great depths of this area might create health benefit opportunities. For those having breathing problems. like those suffering from diseases like cystic fibrosis can get relief. 

Moreover, the friendly environmental factors have elevated the possibility to conduct putative therapies like

  • Climatotherapy exploits the local climate for conducting treatment
  • Treatment that exploits the sun’s radiation is termed heliotherapy
  • While bathing in dead seawater gets used is known as Thalassotherapy
  • One study exhibited Nasal Spray containing saline water from The Dead Sea yielded better relief for Rhinosinusitis patients.
soak in the dead sea
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History of The Dead Sea

Biblical Era

Not only the sea and its medical tourism are precious. Moreover, it has a profound heritage behind it. A very important role in protecting people in this area. The Bible has several places where The Dead Sea has been mentioned. During the Biblical era, the sea was considered religious, and mystic. The Bible has used different names for the sea like “Sea of Arabah”, “Salt Sea”, or “ Eastern Sea”.

It has been noted that several sects of Jews resided in caves around the dead sea. Essence was the most famous, they left the original scrolls of the Bible that got more added later. The Bible also mentions Ein Gedi, a place near the sea. The Biblical King hid himself to protect himself from assassination by King Saul. This area Ein Gedi has been converted to a Natural Reserve presently.

Another story in the Bible is about Lot’s wife. It’s a salt pillar believed to be created by God’s curse. Recognized as the UNESCO heritage site, Masada is probably the best identity of The Dead Sea. Masa symbolizes a struggle against oppression.

Biblical Prophecies 

Mention about the dead sea can be traced in the book on prophecy by Seer Ezekiel. In his book, he mentions the saline nature of water that won’t support marine life, i.e. nor plants nor animals. Moreover, it won’t team up with any kind of a sea. Though he mentioned the sweet river bodies with swimming aquatic creatures and its banks full of trees. Leaves and fruits would be healthy and won’t drop on their own. After many centuries prophet Zachariah had expressed a similar vision.

Interpretation

As per interpretations of the Biblical prophecies, it can be inferred that what we get to see had been a lively place before the Gods Got Crazy. Anger with Gomorrah and Sodom provoked God to shower fire along with brimstones. According to the Bible, the wasteland and hyper-salty lake has resulted from the anger of God. The expectation is that once whole mankind repents on the present situation, in the Messianic Era the region would regain its original form.

Greco-Roman Era 

Soon after the biblical age, the Greco-Roman age started. Aristotle penned his view about the remarkable waters. Natural Asphalts were discovered by Nabateans and others that were valuable so they harvested the freely floating chunks of Asphalt. Moreover, the Egyptians. Needed Asphalt to emblem their mummies. It became an important commodity and henceforth the dead sea emerged as an important trade route for sea salt, agricultural products, and asphalt. Near Masada, Khirbet Mazin, and Ein Gedi anchorages of yesteryear can be found.

Greeks named it Asphaltites and located it near Sodom city. Josephus first identified the remarkable water body. In Mishna, the mention of Ein Gedi can be traced in various instances. Production and export of secret type of permission, the ingredient for temple incense was identified. It became an important trade item that acted as Sodium Salts to bind incense sticks. But they were harmful for use at home because the possibility of blindness was acute.

Byzantine Era

For runaways and staying like a refugee, the dead sea area was best. The reason behind this was the intimacy of the Julian wilderness on the north and northwest. Moreover, the Greek orthodox monks were attracted to the area for its remoteness. Since the Byzantine era, these monks immigrated to The Dead Sea area. Famous sites for pilgrimage grew up. Monasteries like Saint George and Mar Saba.

Dead Sea Mud
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Brief About Flora and Fauna in The Dead Sea

The salinity of the water doesn’t allow the living of fish or sea plants i.e microorganisms. But the fewer quantity of microscopic algae and bacteria survive. However, during floods salinity decreases and normalcy. During winter rains the sea which is considered dead comes to life again. But, during the 1980 floods, something extraordinary happened. The bluish-grey waters of The Dead Sea turned red.

However, researchers exposed the truth. Those from Hebrew University Jerusalem identified al alga called Dunaliella. The latter fed on halobacteria (with red pigments) that was the true reason the water turned red. A group of scientists from Israel and Germany visited the salty sea in 2011 and discovered fissures on the seafloor. Fresh brackish waters were oozing out to refill the sea.

The Dead Sea is surrounded by mountains favorable for hikers. Animals like jackals, 

Hares, ibex, leopard, etc can be seen. Besides, various bird varieties can be found. Moreover, both Israel and Jordan have Natural reserves. In the past, the forest of palm trees and papyrus existed in the deltas of the Jordan River. 

Jericho was identified as the most fertile spot in Judea as per a Jewish historian. Jericho was known to produce sap of Balsam which could be converted to perfumes. However, fertility at Jericho was lost after the 19th century. The lower valleys of Jordan became wealthy during the Roman and Byzantine era. Because of Sycamore figs, henna, and sugarcane production. 

Dead Sea Salt Rock
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The Chemical Industries Around the Dead Sea

During the British mandate period i.e. early 20th century, The Dead Sea was found rich in natural Potash and bromine. In 1929 the Palestine Potash Company was founded with the association of the British Mandate Government’s scheme for concession. Mostly Arabs and Jews were employed at the industries when they commenced their first production in 1931. The factory was located in the northern part of The Dead Sea. 

Further, a second plant was constructed on the southwestern part of the sea. By that time the Palestine Potash Company started supplying almost half of British Potash needs. But, during the Arab-Israeli war in 1948, the Jordanians abolished both the plants.

Israeli Company

Based on remnants of Palestine Potash company, a total state-owned company The Dead Sea works was built in 1952. Further, in 1995 the company got privatized and Israel Chemicals owned it. The annual earnings of around US3$ dollars are achieved by selling The Dead Sea products. Potash and bromine are the main products besides other minerals.

Jordanian Company

Arab Potash is the company on the Jordanian side of The Dead Sea. They produce about 2 million tons of potash along with bromine and others. Around US1.2 billion are generated annually that forms four percent of the total GDP of Jordan.

West Bank Company

World Bank estimates around 218 dollars could have been earned if Palestine could operate as well. Palestine is just 40 km away from the dead sea. But legal issues have restricted them to avail of the privilege.

Dead Sea Mud Spa
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Conclusion

The Dead Sea carries many vital minerals that yield effective health and beauty products. Moreover, its location at the lowest point of the planet has acted destiny for Medical tourism. A lot about historic events has come to the forefront. Its long existence can be learned from Cleopatra’s days until now. How it grew into a trade center for the richness of sea salt, minerals, and agriculture under Greeks and Romans who understood the value of the sea. Moreover, in the 19th century, the importance of Potash and bromine could be noted. Presently a lot of Potash generating industries has grown along the dead sea borders.

Dead Sea
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