8 Confusing Facts About The Dead Sea

With a name like The Dead Sea, how could we miss it out? That’s what we thought, so we put pen to paper to create a list of interesting facts about the Dead Sea that are sure to have you talking and Googling for days.

It Defies All Laws Of Watery Logic

Via: Pommie Travels

So, yes. As we know, the waters of the Dead Sea are a popular destination for swimmers around the world. When it comes to a unique swimming experience, you’re really not going to get any more unusual than this. The sensation is something you have to experience once in your life.

The most famous characteristic of this lake on the borders of Israel and Jordan is that, yes, you can effortlessly float in it. This is thanks to its incredible salt content, as salt water is far denser than freshwater. If you want to bob along and read your newspaper, as per a lot of these images, this is the place to do so.

It’s Not A Sea At All

Via: Dead Sea.com

Now, here’s a revelation to shake your very belief systems to the core: the Dead Sea is not a sea. You’re probably feeling a little short-changed right about now. If you felt the need to hammer on your tour operator’s windows and shriek, “What are you trying to pull here? I paid good darn money for a SEA!”, you’d definitely have right on your side.

There it is, though. The Dead Sea is actually a lake. To go full science major on you, the technical term for such a body of water is a hypersaline lake, or one with a whole heckola of a lot of salt in it.

Did I Mention The Mummies?

Via: BBC.com

With the great historical significance and age of the site in mind, as well as its production of asphalt, it probably won’t surprise the historically-inclined that the Ancient Egyptians wanted a piece of that action.

If there’s one thing we all know about the Ancient Egyptians, it’s that they had a thing about mummifying their deceased (those with a little cash, at any rate). As Jürgen Rullkötter and Arie Nissenbaum write in their ‘Dead sea asphalt in Egyptian mummies: Molecular evidence,’ the waters of this wonderful place have clearly had a role to play in that, according to the testament of ancient historians.

So, What About Those Scrolls?

Via: Voice Of People Today

Say what you will about the hilarious look at me, I’m floating selfies and miraculous mud. For some, the Dead Sea is famous for something else entirely. A little archaeological discovery that was made in the area. That’s right, friends, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

These texts were found in the Qumran Caves in the West Bank, by a shepherd named Muhammed edh-Dib, his cousin and another member of the party.

Consisting mostly of ancient Hebrew manuscripts, they were found in the 1940s but almost perfectly preserved. It was a miraculous find, a lucky chance, and the great importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls continues to be discussed today.

Why So Salty?

Via: The Christian Broadcasting Network News

At this point in the rundown, I’ve been waxing lyrical about the Dead Sea’s salt content for some time. What it means for people and animals, its health benefits, why you must certainly do not want it coming into contact with any cuts or grazes on your skin… all of that good stuff. One thing we haven’t tackled yet, though, is why the lake is so salty in the first place.

That’s down to the rainwater. It’s carbon monoxide mixing with rainwater, dissolving the rocks. The result of all of these chemicals mixing together? Salt, and a huge darn lot of it.

It’s Not ALL Salty

Via: Breaking Israel News (Shutterstock)

So, yes. I think we’ve already covered the fact that the Dead Sea is, as salt goes, pretty goshdarn salty indeed. I think I’ve touched on that just once or twice here.

Even so, however, there’s more to the whole thing than just salt. As List 25 reports, there’s a Biblical prophecy that the waters of the lake will one day turn fresh, and there may actually be some truth to this. In recent years, researchers have discovered small pockets of fresh water forming in the depths of the lake. We’re not yet clear on how or why this has happened.

Mark Twain Was NOT Impressed

Via: CMG Worldwide

From all we’ve seen so far here, it’s clear that the Dead Sea is a fascinating tourist attraction. Much more than that, it’s a culturally, historically and even medically significant place. Even if you don’t appreciate all of that and just want to go and float there like everybody else, it’s plain to see why the lake has such a global renown.

Nevertheless, it’s impossible to please everybody. Especially the oft-curmudgeonly writer Mark Twain. Of his trip to the Dead Sea, he wrote, “A silence broods over the scene that is depressing to the spirits. It makes one think of funerals and death.”

Swim? I Don’t Think So

Via: Naples Herald (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Here’s the irony of the whole thing. The majority of visitors to the Dead Sea aren’t going to be super serious salt scientists, historians or researchers. They’re good ol’ fashioned happy tourists, here to swim. The caveat there is that… you can’t really swim here, in the conventional sense.

That is to say, you can, but you have to battle the water itself to do so. The density of it means that it’s constantly battling to force you afloat, stealing your legs right from under you. This is why the classic floating on your back pose is so darn popular.

Swim? I Don’t Think So

Via: Naples Herald (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Here’s the irony of the whole thing. The majority of visitors to the Dead Sea aren’t going to be super serious salt scientists, historians or researchers. They’re good ol’ fashioned happy tourists, here to swim. The caveat there is that… you can’t really swim here, in the conventional sense.

That is to say, you can, but you have to battle the water itself to do so. The density of it means that it’s constantly battling to force you afloat, stealing your legs right from under you. This is why the classic floating on your back pose is so darn popular.


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