The Dead Sea is one of the top attractions in Israel. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people travel to the Dead Sea to slather their bodies in mineral-rich mud and float in the salty water. It’s a unique experience – and not one to be missed if you visit Israel – but there are a few things you need to know about the Dead Sea before you visit.
The Water Can Sting
Everyone knows the Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water on earth, but did you know that the water can sting and be quite painful if you’re not careful?
The water of the Dead Sea is 34% salt. This is higher than normal seawater. Salt stings if it enters open wounds and scratches. It also stings the eyes if you dip your face in the water. For this reason, you should cover up any wounds with plasters or bandages, don’t shave for three days before you enter the water, and avoid putting your face in the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is the Lowest Point on Earth
The Dead Sea is 423 metres below sea level, which makes it the lowest land point before sea level.
Really Heavy Objects Float in the Dead Sea
Imagine a heavy bowling ball weighing 14 pounds. If you threw that in the sea, it would sink, right? Well, if you put a bowling ball in the Dead Sea, it floats. This seriously cool phenomenon is part of the reason why the Dead Sea is so famous. Floating in the Dead Sea is the closest thing to zero-gravity that most of us will ever experience. You can float around to your heart’s content with zero effort, even if you weigh 300+ pounds.
Nothing Lives in the Dead Sea
The hypersalinity of the Dead Sea makes it virtually impossible for anything to survive in the water. You won’t see any fish or marine life swimming in the Dead Sea, which might be reassuring when you’re floating around, far from shore, with memories of Jaws pop into your head. The only living things that survive in the Dead Sea are some bacteria and a few microscopic fungi that have adapted to the extreme salt concentrations of the water.
The Dead Sea was the World’s First Health Resort
King Herod the Great knew a thing or two about health. He recognised the health properties of the Dead Sea and created the world’s first recorded health spa on the site. The was used to supply all kinds of health products, from mud for healing purposes to balms for mummification. Today, the Dead Sea is still world-renowned for its healing properties. Dead Sea mud helps reduce the signs of aging, heals acne-prone skin, and helps cure dermatitis. The salty water of the Dead Sea is also very soothing on your skin. After a dip in the Dead Sea, your skin will feel softer than a baby’s bottom.
If you’re not convinced about the Dead Sea’s awesomeness, take a trip there and find out for yourself!