Wednesday, 08 January 2014, 04:08:28 EET
The Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west, it is 30 kilometeres away from the city of Madaba. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, 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 a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L, which makes swimming similar to floating.
Health effects and therapies
The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effects. For example, persons suffering reduced respiratory function from diseases such as cystic fibrosis seem to benefit from the increased atmospheric pressure.
The region's climate and low elevation have made it a popular center for several types of therapies:
Climatotherapy: Treatment which exploits local climatic features such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, barometric pressure and special atmospheric constituents
Heliotherapy: Treatment that exploits the biological effects of the sun's radiation
Thalassotherapy: Treatment that exploits bathing in Dead Sea water
Select area of interest to view in map