The Dead Sea (Yam Hamelakh — “The Salt Sea”), is the lowest point on earth at about 1,300 feet (400 m.) below sea level, lies at the southern end of the Jordan Valley.
It is 34 miles (55 km.) long and varies between 11 miles (18 km.) and 2 miles (3 km.) in width. The Sea is 1,400 feet (430 m.) deep.
This unique sea is fed by the Jordan River. There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation (high temperatures, low humidity).
The area is best known for being the site of the biblical towns of Sodom and Gomorrah.
South of the Sea, on the way to Eilat, is a rock salt formation that tourists are told is Lot’s wife.
Lot’s wife ignored God’s admonition not to look back at the cities he was destroying as they left and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).
Floating is a novelty that makes visiting the Dead Sea a kick, but most people come for the therapeutic value of the mud and salt water.
The Dead Seas waters, with the highest level of salinity and density in the world, are rich in potash, magnesium and bromine, as well as in table and industrial salts.
The Sea produce large quantities of raw chemicals. These are extracted and exported throughout the world for use in medicine, agriculture and industry.
An interesting note, the Dead Sea is actually shrinking. It is dropping 3 feet every year. There are groups looking at how to stop this and restore the Dead Sea to it’s natural dimensions.
We were able to visit, slap some mud on and float… No need for a water softener..