Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dead Sea

Dead Sea at Sunset from Suwayma, JordanThe Dead Sea (Hebrew: ים המלח) (Arabic: البحر الميت‎) is both the lowest point on Earth at 418 meters (1,371 ft) below sea level and falling, and the deepest hypersaline lake in the world at 330 meters (1,083 ft) deep and 799 meters (2,621 ft) below sea level. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth with a salinity of about 300 ppt, This is about 8.6 times greater than the average ocean salinity. It measures 67 kilometers (42 mi) long, up to 18 kilometers (11 mi) wide, and is located on the border between the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan, and lies in the Jordan Rift Valley. The main tributary is the Jordan River.

In Hebrew the Dead Sea is called the Yam ha-Melakh - meaning "sea of salt", or Yam ha-Mavet - meaning "sea of death".

The Dead Sea has attracted interest and visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It 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 products as diverse as balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers.


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