Dazzling Dead Sea Delights: Bob like a Cork, Smear on Salt and Mud [45 PICS]

October 16th, 2011 Permalink

The Dead Sea is one of the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition. It is a salt lake between Palestine and Israel to the west and Jordan to the east. At almost 1,378 feet (420 meters) below sea level, its shores are the lowest point on Earth that are on dry land. In the deepest part, at the very bottom of the sea, it is over 2,300 feet below sea level. The ‘Salt Sea’ has 30% salinity which is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean and people can float in it with no effort required. In fact, people don’t ‘swim’ in the water; instead they tend to bob like a cork and may be inclined to kick back and read while they float. It’s also a place where people delight in smearing on mud and salt for health and beauty reasons. The Dead Sea is 1,237 ft (377 m) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It has attracted visitors for thousands of years . . . including being a place of refuge for the King David from the Bible. [45 Photos]

A rough Dead Sea, with salt deposits on cliffs

A rough Dead Sea, with salt deposits on cliffs. Although the sea is called “dead” due to its high salinity which prevents fish and aquatic plants from living in it, the same salinity can treat several health conditions. The Dead Sea is also known by many other names such as ‘Sea of Salt’ and ‘Sea of Death’; and in Arabic ‘Sea of Lot’ and ‘Sea of Zoʼar.’ The Greeks called it ‘Lake Asphaltites’ and ‘the Asphaltite Sea.’ The Bible also refers to it as ‘the Eastern sea’ and ‘Sea of the Arabah.’ Photo #1 by Disdero

Dead Sea - 410 Meters Below Sea Level

Dead Sea – 410 Meters Below Sea Level. The photographer wrote, “The Dead Sea, of course, is the lowest point on Earth. The mountains you see in the horizon are those of the West Bank. Jerusalem is not too far off behind those mountains.” Photo #2 by Sahdi Samawi


Dead Sea Setting - The Dead Sea is so dense, it makes even the sun float on its surface

Dead Sea Setting Sun – The Dead Sea is so dense, it makes even the sun float on its surface. Photo #3 by Caneles

Dead Sea at dusk from the Mövenpick, Dead Sea, Jordan

Dead Sea at dusk from the Mövenpick, Jordan. Photo #4 by Arwcheek

Nahal Tze'elim canyon situated in the Judean Desert, Israel, near Masada, descending to the Dead Sea

Nahal Tze’elim canyon situated in the Judean Desert, Israel, near Masada, descending to the Dead Sea. Ein Namer, which means “leopard headspring,” is a headspring located in the middle of the canyon, providing water during the year to local flora and fauna. Photo #5 by Ester Inbar

Salt @ Dead Sea

Salt @ Dead Sea. Health research into the salt and mineral content of the water has shown that the area is wonderful for treating psoriasis, rhinosinusitis, osteoarthritis. Many beauty products are also made with Dead Sea salt and mud. Photo #6 by Florian Seiffert

Orilla del Mar Muerto, Israel, Shore of the Dead Sea

Orilla del Mar Muerto, Israel, Shore of the Dead Sea. In 2009, about 1.2 million foreign tourists visited on the Israeli side. Photo #7 by bachmont

Sinkholes at Mineral Beach, Dead Sea, West Bank

Sinkholes at Mineral Beach, Dead Sea, West Bank. The appearance of large sinkholes along the western shore are belived to be caused by the dropping of the Dead Sea level which is followed by groundwater levels dropping. As incoming freshwater dissolves salt layers, it rapidly creates subsurface cavities that subsequently collapse to form these sinkholes. Photo #8 by Doron

Dead Sea landscape

Dead Sea landscape. Photo #9 by 18сецондс

Amman Beach Tourism Resort on the Dead Sea

Amman Beach Tourism Resort on the Dead Sea. Photo #10 by Jean Housen

Dead Sea from Jordan

Dead Sea from Jordan. The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea. There are, however, small springs under and around the Dead Sea that create pools and quicksand pits along the edges. Photo #11 by Gusjer

Dead Sea cablecar

Dead Sea as seen from a cable car. The photographer noted, “You can see why they call it the Dead Sea.” Photo #12 by Brant Hardy

Bokek Stronghold, Ein Bokek, Israel with Dead Sea in the background

Bokek Stronghold, Ein Bokek, Israel with Dead Sea in the background. Photo #13 by Bukvoed

Mountains reflect in Dead Sea

Mountains reflect in the Dead Sea. Photo #14 by xta11

Enjoying The Dead Sea Mud, Jordan

Enjoying the Dead Sea mud, Jordan. It’s supposed to do wonderful things for a person’s skin. Photo #15 by Rob (BBM Explorer)

Dead Sea, Geography of Israel

Dead Sea, geography of Israel. Photo #16 by Hanna Azar

Satellite image from 2001 of Dead Sea salt evaporation ponds - Israel - Jordan

Satellite image from 2001 of Dead Sea salt evaporation ponds – Israel – Jordan. In recent decades, environmental concerns include the rapid shrinking of the Dead Sea. According to the Earth Observatory, “Both sodium chloride and potassium salts are produced from the Dead Sea ponds. Salt-evaporation works are expanding throughout the world in response to increased manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other chemicals, for which salt is a principal feedstock. About 22.4 million metric tons of salt (sodium chloride) were consumed by the chemical industry in 1996. Other uses are in human and animal nutrition, water conditioning, and road de-icing.” Photo #17 by NASA

The Dead Sea just before sunrise

This picture of the Dead Sea was taken just before dawn from Mount Sodom. Photo #18 by RonenY

Tamar Regional Council headquarters in Neve Zohar on the shore of the Dead Sea in Israel

Tamar Regional Council headquarters in Neve Zohar on the shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. Photo #19 by Ester Inbar

View of the Dead Sea and surrounding area from a view point in Masada

View of the Dead Sea and surrounding area from a view point in Masada. Photo #20 by SuperJew

Dead Sea seascape

Dead Sea seascape. Photo #21 by josef.stuefer

The Dead Sea

While it appears ‘dead,’ there are many flora and fauna species in the mountain areas surrounding the Dead Sea. Hikers commonly see camels, ibex, hares, hyraxes, jackals, foxes, leopards, and hundreds of bird species. Both Jordan and Israel have established nature reserves around the Dead Sea. Photo #22 by David Shankbone

The Dead Sea as taken from Judean Desert, Israel

The Dead Sea as taken from Judean Desert, Israel. Photo #23 by Ester Inbar

Panorama of the Dead Sea from the Mövenpick Resort, Jordan

Panorama of the Dead Sea from the Mövenpick Resort, Jordan. Photo #24 by Arwcheek

Panorama of the Dead sea from Mount Sodom

Panorama of the Dead sea from Mount Sodom. Yes, the same Sodom as referred to in the Bible as being the Sodom and Gomorra (Genesis 18). Photo #25 by Someone35

salt not ice Dead Sea

While this has an uncanny similarity to frozen shorelines as seen when killer waves attack lighthouses, this is Dead Sea salt instead of ice. Photo #26 by Leader

Relaxing in the Dead Sea, taken circa 1920

Relaxing in the Dead Sea, taken circa 1920. As you will see, this famous photo spawned countless more. Photo #27 by Thiophene_Guy

Floating on the Dead Sea and reading to newspaper

Floating on the Dead Sea and reading the newspaper. Photo #28 by Kevin Lim

Floating in the Dead Sea

Bobbing like a cork in the Dead Sea is a popular pastime. Photo #29 by Noga Kadman

More Dead Sea floaters

More Dead Sea floaters. The photographer wrote, “This is so salty you can just float like this with no effort. It’s cool down to about 6 feet, at which point it’s as hot as a bath. It was about 15 minutes before I noticed the millions of tiny red shrimp floating around.” Photo #30 by Steve Rideout

From the main road at the Dead Sea

From the main road at the Dead Sea. Photo #31 by Sharon Shlomo

Dead Sea land bridge

The photographer wrote, “Driving past the Dead Sea after taking a swim…noticed this interesting land bridge going across to Jordan and waited for the right moment to snap a picture.” Photo #32 by Rebecca Schear

Ein Gedi Beach, The Dead sea, Israel

Ein Gedi Beach on the Dead Sea, Israel. King David was said to have hidden from Saul at Ein Gedi. Photo #33 by Adiel lo

dead sea lake אגם חורף ליד ים המלח

‘Dead Sea Lake (אגם חורף ליד ים המלח). Photo #34 by Pikiwikisrael

Israel, Dead Sea, En Boqeq

Israel, Dead Sea, En Boqeq. Photo #35 by xta11

Kayaks in the Dead Sea

Kayaks in the Dead Sea. Photo #36 by Racheli Raz

Masada, Archeological sites of Israel, west of the Dead Sea

Masada, archeological sites of Israel, west of the Dead Sea. This photo came along with the description: “Ein Gedi is an oasis in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the caves of Qumran. The name En-gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein means spring and gdi means goat-kid. En Gedi thus means ‘Kid spring’.” Photo #37 by Pikiwikisrael

Dead Sea Scrolls

While the Dead Sea Scrolls are not a part of the the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, I had to include the Dead Sea Scrolls when showing off the Dead Sea. At the time it was found, the document was rolled into two separate scrolls of heavily oxidized copper which was far too brittle to unroll. Scholars and experts decided to cut the scroll into sections from the outside using a small saw. Working very carefully they cut the scroll into 23 strips, each one curved into a half-cylinder. Commentary by Marilyn J. Lundberg. Archaeological Museum in Amman, Jordan. Right: Original scroll’s photography. Left: Pot where the scroll were kept. Photo #38 by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research, in collaboration with the Princeton Theological Seminary. Courtesy Department of Antiquities, Jordan

Cave of the Dead Sea Scrolls - Qumran Cave

Cave of the Dead Sea Scrolls – Qumran Cave. The scrolls were discovered in 11 caves in and around the Wadi Qumran between 1947-56. Dwelling in caves near the Dead Sea was recorded in the Hebrew Bible as having taken place before the Israelites came to Canaan, and extensively at the time of King David. Photo #39 by City Pictures

Israel - Jerusalem - Shrine of the Book Museum

Israel – Jerusalem – Shrine of the Book Museum. According to Wikipedia, The Shrine of the Book is a wing of the Israel Museum near Givat Ram in Jerusalem and houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo #40 by EdoM

In the Bible, the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. Mount Sodom, Israel, showing the so-called 'Lot's Wife' pillar

In the Bible, the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. Mount Sodom, Israel, showing the so-called ‘Lot’s Wife’ pillar. Photo #41 by Wilson44691

Northern dead sea panorama from the Israeli side

Northern dead sea panorama from the Israeli side. Photo #42 by Someone35

Thousands strip naked for the Dead Sea diminishing water level awareness

1,200 Israelis and tourists stripped naked and posed for photos to raise awareness about the Dead Sea drying up. Photo #43 by YouTube screengrab

The dead sea in ein bokek from the beach of the Meridien Hotel

The Dead Sea in Ein Bokek from the beach of the Meridien Hotel. Photo #44 by Laura Padgett


When we started showing off the 28 finalists of the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, we had plenty of time . . . or so we thought. However the last five months threw us for a loop. Since June, angelbear aka Keyla has been in and out of the hospital with life-threatening infections and numerous surgeries with several more major reconstructive surgeries needed. If we do not post all the 28 finalists before the competition is over, please forgive us. It was not meant as a slight to any country or any gorgeous nature finalists. Thank you from angelbear’s mom.


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