| About the Dead Sea - Scroll Down for More Information |
Technically a lake, the Dead Sea is located between Israel and Jordan, about 15 miles east of Jerusalem. The Dead Sea is the 2nd saltiest body of water in the world, and sits at the lowest point of elevation on earth. It was formed 2 million years ago and miraculously retains the purity of its ancient waters, even today. The climate here is warm, sunny and dry year-round, and is blessed with extraordinarily low pollution.
For thousands of years, the Dead Sea has been a center for health and well-being. The waters of the Dead Sea contain a high volume of minerals that benefit human health. These minerals include potassium, sulfur, calcium, bromine, collagen, and many more. For centuries, people have flocked to the Dead Sea to enjoy the benefits of soaking in its mineral-rich, salt filled waters. Cleopatra recognized the cosmetic benefits of the Dead Sea and had retreats and factories built along its shores. The Egyptians used elements present in the area for embalming and mummification processes. The Dead Sea also plays an important role in the history and prophecies of the Bible, and is present in many ancient writings.
The salt from the Dead Sea is no ordinary salt. Unlike table salt, Dead Sea salt has many therapeutic properties and contains high levels of natural minerals that our bodies need to thrive. These minerals cleanse, heal, and help our cells flush out unwanted toxins. Dead Sea salt can be enjoyed in several forms in the comfort of your own home: as bath salt and in the form of mud masks. Our Minera Dead Sea salts are harvested from the southern end of the Dead Sea, which holds the highest mineral content.
The Dead Sea is recognized as a powerful rehabilitative center, thanks to the wonderful climate, therapeutic waters and natural beauty. The shores of the lake are now teeming with spas, wellness centers, hotels and retreats. The area is thriving and tourists from around the globe gather there to witness the wonder that is the Dead Sea.
For centuries, people have flocked to the Dead Sea to enjoy the benefits of soaking in its mineral-rich, salt filled waters. The Dead Sea has been recognized for its amazing health benefits, and has been enjoyed by everyone from the ancient Egyptians, who used products from the area in their mummification processes, all the way up to current spas and health centers.
The Dead Sea has gone by many names. The Dead Sea was originally named after a nearby town and referred to as the "Sea of Zoar". It has also been known as the "Eastern Sea" and the "Sea of Arava". The Greeks noted its naturally surfacing asphalt and called it "Lake Asphaltites".
Located between the West Bank and Israel (to the west) and Jordan (to the east), the Dead Sea is the 2nd saltiest body of water and the deepest salt lake in the world.
3 million years ago, the area was repeatedly flooded with waters from the Red Sea. As the years went by, the waters collected and formed a narrow, crooked bay that wound through what is now the Jezreel Valley. The floods were sporadic through centuries of climate change and contributed to many geologic changes. Approximately 1 million years later, the land rose in such a way that the ocean could no longer flood the area, and the existing water stayed - this area became a lake, and what is now known as the Dead Sea.
In terms of climate, the area mostly remains sunny, dry and warm year-round, with skies relatively clear and low in pollution. The unique conditions and climate make the Dead Sea a popular center for wellness and health, and the area offers many treatments that are 100% natural including Climatotherapy, Heliotherapy, Thalassotherapy, and Balneotherapy. Climatotherapy offers theraputic benefits through the local weather and climate; Heliotherapy takes advantage of the sunlight in the area; Thalassotherapy is based upon the simple practice of bathing in the salt-rich water of the Dead Sea; Balneotherapy is a treatment involving the mineral-filled mud from the Dead Sea.
People have studied and enjoyed the Dead Sea since the beginning of civilization. Jesus and John the Baptist were closely connected to the Dead Sea and the surrounding areas. It is mentioned twice in the bible, and in both instances it is predicted to come alive, so to speak - prophecies claim that the Dead Sea will one day be inhabitable by fish and plant life. The ancient Greeks recognized its magesty as well - Aristotle wrote about it; during the Egyptian conquest Cleopatra reportedly requested that land around the Dead Sea be reserved for cosmetic factories; the Nabateans discovered certain elements that would later be used in Egyptian embalming and mummification practices.
King Herod saw the area as a wonderful retreat, and built fortresses and palaces along the Western shores. The Essenes settled here as well, and later, in the 20th century, their writings were discovered and named the "Dead Sea Scrolls". The region attracted Greek Orthodox monks, who built monasteries there as places of worship and pilgrimage. Bedouin tribes have continuously lived in the area for thousands of years and could be considered the "natives of the land".
The beginnings of the Dead Sea are told of often in the Islamic tradition. The Dead Sea was the home of Lot (Prophet Lut) in the Hebrew scriptures. His tribe was known to partake in homosexual activities and therefore punished by Allah - in a big way. Allah sent angels down to Lut, and they raised the land around the prophet's tribe before throwing it down into the ground again, causing the area to cave in. This area became the lowest land on earth, and it is where the sinners were destroyed and the followers were saved.
The Dead Sea is still quite popular, as tourism has been booming there since the 1960's. The Dead Sea is home to the world's lowest road, Highway 90, which runs approximately 390 m below sea level. There are golf courses, retreats, and resorts. People come from all over the world to admire the natural beauty of the sea, to swim and soak in the salty waters, and to feel the healing effects of this beautiful body of water. The history of the Dead Sea really is quite an interesting story.
Why Is It Called The Dead Sea?
You’ve heard the name, but why is it called the Dead Sea? If you were to visit the area, it looks very much alive – gorgeous, sunny weather and pure blue waters. And the Dead “Sea” is actually a lake. So, what gives?
The Dead Sea is technically a lake, but unlike most lakes, which consist of freshwater, the Dead Sea is filled with salt water – in fact, it is the 2nd saltiest body of water on earth. Through the centuries, the Dead Sea has gone by many different names. In the Bible alone, the Dead Sea is referred to as both the Salt Sea and the Sea of the Arabah. Other names include the Sea of Lot, Sea of Sodom, Sea of Asphalt, and the Stinking Sea.
Today, we have come to know this unusual lake as the Dead Sea because unlike other bodies of water, there is an almost eerie lack of life within its depths. There are no fish swimming beneath the surface, no plants growing at the base. The Dead Sea carries an extremely high mineral and salt content, which makes it impossible for marine life to survive. This same rich mineral content, however, makes up for its biologically unfriendly environment and gives the water amazing healing properties that attract visitors from around the globe.
How was the Dead Sea Created?
The Dead Sea was first visible about 3 million years ago and its inception has been the subject of many writings, both ancient and present. It all began when the area was repeatedly flooded with waters from the nearby Red Sea. As the years went by, the resulting collection of water formed a winding, crooked bay that reached through what is now the Jezreel Valley. The floods came and went through centuries of climate change and contributed to many geologic changes. Approximately 1 million years later, the land rose in such a way that the ocean could no longer flood the area, and the existing water stayed – this area became a lake, and what is now known as the Dead Sea.
The East Rift Valley is responsible for the continued sinking of the Dead sea. It runs through a large portion of Africa, and begins just north of the Dead Sea. Along this valley, the earth’s crust is thinning and spreading. As the plates spread further apart, the Dead Sea “sinks” – as much as 13 inches per year. This rate of sinking is quite impressive in geologic terms, and contributes to the mystery that surrounds the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is incredibly salty. So salty, in fact, that you could float on the surface of the water without even trying. You could sit back and read a newspaper without waving an arm. The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water on earth, with 33% salt – almost 10 times the amount of salt in ordinary seawater. The salt itself is rich in mineral content and low in sodium, making it highly therapeutic and quite bitter, unlike table salt.
So what makes the Dead Sea so salty? The water that makes up the Dead Sea flows from the rivers and streams surrounding it. But oddly, no water flows out of the Dead Sea in the form of rivers or streams. Water only leaves by way of evaporation. You’re probably thinking that simple evaporation can’t amount to much of a water loss, but this region has a very hot, dry climate and evaporation is constant. As the water evaporates, minerals and salt are left behind, making the remaining water saltier and more mineral-rich. Since water does not flow directly out of the Dead Sea, salt gets trapped on the shores and in the water. The continued evaporation keeps the cycle going – water flows in, evaporates in the hot sun, and enormous deposits of salt are left behind.