A landmark natural attraction for those on a trip to Israel, the Dead Sea or ‘Sea of Salt’ is situated at the lowest point on Earth, 427 meters below sea level. At nearly 35% salinity it is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, creating a harsh environment for animals - making it impossible to live there, hence its name. Its extreme saltiness also means that rather than swimming in the Dead Sea, people float on the surface.
Dead Sea’s beneficial qualities
People have been traveling to Israel for thousands of years to visit the Dead Sea, even as far back as the times of Herod the Great. They arrived here as they do today to experience its renowned capacity for healing, and for the wide variety of products made from the waters and mud. Today Dead Sea cosmetics, face masks and mineral salts are still sought after for treating the skin.
Due to the high mineral content of the water, and low presence of allergens in the area, reduced ultraviolet component, and higher atmospheric pressure, those with reduced respiratory function can see health benefits from a visit. Those suffering from psoriasis and osteoarthritis are also believed to benefit from Dead Sea therapies.
Unique natural attraction
Although animals cannot live in the sea, there is a wide variety of flora and fauna in the mountains surrounding the Dead Sea. Camels, Ibex, jackals, foxes and even leopards as well as hundreds of varieties of birds can be seen here on a Dead Sea tour, in the nature reserves around the sea.
During the 1940s and '50s, hundreds of important religious documents, dated back to 150 BC and 70 AD, were found in caves near the ancient settlement of Qumran about a mile northwest of the Dead Sea. They later became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.