Dead Sea

The Dead Sea salted lake between the West Bank and Israel to the west, and Jordan to the east is 420 metres (1,378 ft) below sea level, its shores being the lowest point on the surface of the Earth on dry land. The Dead Sea is approximately 330 m deep (1,083 feet), and thus is the deepest oversalted lake in the world. It is also the second saltiest body of water in the world. For thousands of years the Dead Sea has been a mediteraranean visitor attraction, having even been cited as a place of refuge for King David in the bible as well as being noted historically as one of the world's first health resorts for King Herod.

The Dead Sea's climate
The climate of the Dead Sea is moderate to hot, offering year-round sunny skies and dry air with low pollution. It has very little rain and temperatures in summer are between 32 and 39 °C. Temperatures in winter range between 20 and 23 °C. The Dead Sea climate and its special attributes attributed to its low elevation have made it a famous center for several types of therapies such as climatotherapy, Heliotherapy (sun), Thalassotherapy (water), and balneotherapy (mineral mud). For these and more reasons the Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment.

On top of the waters themselves, the Dead Sea area also boasts a variety of health spas and hot springs along the shore. The first hotels and spas were built in Arad, and then in the 1960’s in Neve Zohar and since then more developments have sprouted in Ein Bokek along with a day spa at Ein Gedi. There has also been a golf course named for Sodom and Gomorrah built by the British in mandate times in the Kalia area on the northern shore, The Dead Sea’s Jordanian coast has also seen greater development in recent years, including international franchises.

The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves at Qumran at the Dead Sea.
Water Issues, Regional Cooperation and the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea has been shrinking fast over the last few decades due to a diversion of incoming water. Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority got together on On May 9, 2005 to sign an agreement to begin studies on a project, officially known as the "Two Seas Canal". This project intends to produce 870 million cubic metres of fresh water per year and 550 megawatts of electricity. International bodies like The World Bank are supportive of this endeavor, while a number of environmental groups identified their concerns about the potential negative impact of the project on the natural environment of the Dead Sea and Arava valley.


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