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- The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a hypersaline lake (salinity around 34%), and considered one of earth’s unique places.
- The surface and shores of the Dead Sea are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, making it earth’s lowest elevation on land.
- The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride or other mineral salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water (8.6 times saltier than the ocean).
- The Dead Sea’s unusually high salt concentration means that people can easily float in the Dead Sea due to natural buoyancy.
- The high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms such as fish and aquatic plants from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.
- The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effects.
- The Dead Sea 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 potash for fertilizers.