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Israel: Dead Sea – Salt More Than Gold

Published: 19.6.2013
On the borderline of Jordan and Israel there is Earth’s lowest elevation on land, the Dead Sea. This endorheic hypersaline lake is popular tourist attraction, golden mine for companies extracting medical salt as well as a palce of rich and interesting history.

The Dead Sea and its salt are well-known all-around the world. Even in locals conditions we love to buy it for its healing effects. We buy as a salt to bath or just a part of beauty products. Today, we will take you to a place where this salt comes from and we will also tell you some interesting facts about this natural phenomena.
Origin of the Dead Sea
Mrtvé moře How and when the Dead Sea emerged? This question will answer a science called geology. It was about three million years ago. A tectonic fault moved and thus created a basin which was filled with waters following years. As a result of excessive drawing of water from the River Jordan, one of few tributaries of the Dead Sea, the sea has been facing drying out for many years. Due to this the Dead Sea is separated into two asymmetrical parts of dry land. The authorities try to solve the problem of drying out by construction of an artificial tributary from the Red Sea . The problem is, of course, the distance, difficulty to push water from the sea to lake and thus overcome the elevation of 120 meters. Only then water could flow 530 meters down to the Dead Sea. Despite these difficulties many believe the Dead Sea will be preserved.
Mrtvé moře
Drying out causes hypersalinity. Everyone knows seas are saline but the Dead Sea is extremely saline, actually, one of the most saline places in the world. Water here contains 10 times more salt than in a regular sea. Salt causes people who don’t know how to swim are buoyed. So one can easily read his/her favorite book. You can’t stay in water for long, indeed, for it is so saline you will soon get out to take a shower under normal water. Showers are all along the shore. White condensate salt create great atmosphere and it creates splendid contrast to black mud that contains vast amounts of iodine and bromine. These chemical elements have healing effects on neural system. Other elements such as sulphur or magnesium are well for skin diseases. No wonder medical-relaxating tourism flourishes here.
Mrtvé moře (sprchy)
Salt more than gold
Utilization of salt has been very profitable here. Mostly on the south side of the lake there is intensive mining of salt and other minerals. Economy around the Dead Sea lives from what the sea offers. If you have seen or read the Salt More Than Gold tale you can be sure the salt is really more than gold at the Dead Sea region.
Mrtvé moře (vysrážená sůl)
The name the Dead Sea was derived from its extreme salinity, however, is it truly dead? Not entirely! There are several types bacteria and Archea. At some places you can see Dunaliella sea weed. Around the lake there live camels, capricorns, bunnies, foxes and even leopards and hundreds bird species.

From histrocial perspective the area was settled more than 2000 years ago. Utilization of products of the Dead Sea originates in ancient Egypt, it was used for mummification. Not so long ago in the area of Kumran there were found the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Bible manuscripts in the world. It was written in old Hebrew and in Aramaic language. It is estimated they were written in the 1st century B.C.  

Mrtvé moře Mrtvé moře

Whether you are interested in nature, history or you just love to travel you shouldn’t miss the Dead Sea. There are only few places where salt means more than gold on this planet. Thus, you should see this lake, experience it and enjoy it.

Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút

 



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