Facts About Dead Sea Salt Lake

At the lowest point on land is calm, blue water surface from the protruding poles of salt. In some places, salt lumps floating on the surface like a broken iceberg.

This almost lifeless region is the Dead Sea, one of the saltiest lakes in the world (3rd). The Dead Sea is the largest depression (indoor basin on land that has a bottom below sea level) in the world – water surface is located at 429 m below sea level and is steadily declining.

It is located between Jordan and Israel, at the end of the Jordan Valley, in the northern part of the large trench that starts in the upper reaches of the river Jordan and extends south through the Dead Sea, Red Sea and East Africa.

In some places the lake is 400m deep, which means that some parts of its bottom are at about 800 m below sea level.

Is there any animals in the Dead Sea?

There lives very few plants and animals. Only a few single-celled organisms (quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi) can survive in the water of the Dead Sea because it is nine times more saturated with salt, rather than the water in the ocean. Continuous evaporation often causes retention of thick fog above the surface.

Dead sea from air Dead sea panorama Dead sea salt Dead sea Salt lake

Arab settlers in the Middle Ages believed that the birds do not fly over the Dead Sea because its vapors are poisonous. However, one species flocks of starlings bring life in this area, and they feed on insects and fruits that grow on the banks.

Why Dead Sea is so salty?

The peninsula El Lisan (which means “language”) divides the lake into two parts – the northern part which is bigger and deeper, and the southern part, which is low in average only 6 meters, where there are pillars of salt. Poles are actually the top layer of thick layers of sediment, which began to form more than two million years ago.

Water from the river Jordan evaporates quickly at temperatures that in the summer is over 50°C, leaving behind layers of clay, sand, rock salt and gypsum. During particularly wet winter in the Dead Sea the daily flows over 6.5 million tons of water. If there were no evaporation, the lake level would rise by 3 meters each year.

But since the mid-twentieth century, the lake level has dropped by more than 40 m, partly because of climate change, and partly because Jordan and Israel draw water for irrigation from the river Jordan.

Read also Mount Mazama Crater Lake and Meteor Crater in Arizona

12 Dead Sea Facts

  • No.1 – is it really a sea? No. It is salt lake, and real name translated fro Hebrew is “The Sea of Death”
  • No.2 – can you swim in the Dead Sea? Yes, but water has a density of 1.25 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating.
  • No.3 – per year in the dead sea drowns about 20 people, 2.5 times more than in the
    Red Sea
  • No.4 – how saline is it? 34% or 9.6 times as salty as the ocean
  • No.5 – how much salt is in? There are about 37 billion tonnes of salt
  • No.6 – will the dead sea dry up? Probably Dead Sea could dry up entirely by 2050
  • No.7 – length is 50 km (31 mi)
  • No.8 – width is 15 km (9.3 mi)
  • No.9 – surface area is 600 km2 (230 sq mi)
  • No.10 – maximum depth is 400m (1310 ft), average is 200m (655 ft)
  • No.11 – it is deepest hypersaline lake in the world, but not saltiest (Lake Vanda in Antarctica is 1% saltier than Dead sea 35%:34%)
  • No.12 – it was a place of refuge of King David

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