We heard and studied about the Dead Sea in school as the lowest point on Earth, 413 metres below sea level. However, I never imagined actually visiting it. So, when we were on our way from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, I was exhilarated to finally be there! One can easily get a bus from Jerusalem which takes about one hour to reach the Dead Sea. However, as we were traveling on the day of Shabbat (Jewish day of rest which starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. Public transports and most of the market is closed during this period), we had to take a personal taxi to our destination.
Where is the Dead Sea? It is located in the Jordan Rift Valley, bordered by Israel to the East and Jordan to the West.
Why is it called the Dead Sea? The salinity of the sea is 33.7%, almost 10 times saltier than normal sea water. If you evaporate a litre of the Salt Sea water, you’d be left behind with 250 g of salt! Due to the high salinity, no form of life (except a few bacteria and fungi) can survive in it and hence it is called the Dead Sea.
Why is the Dead Sea so salty? The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake, i.e. water can only flow into the lake, but nothing flows out. This is counterbalanced by the process of evaporation. As the water is evaporated but the salts present in it are retained, the amount of salts in the Salty Sea is ever increasing. Hence, the water density is so high that one can literally float on the sea!
What are the benefits of the Dead Sea mud? The Dead Sea mud has been soaking all the minerals for thousands of years. Hence, the Salty Sea mud is full of minerals and salts which penetrate into the skin and make it soft and silky and helps in reducing skin wrinkling. It also helps treat skin ailments like acne. The minerals soften your hair too. I floated in the sea for about 10 minutes which made my hair and skin feel really smooth!
Studies show soaking into the Dead Sea water or water that contains Dead Sea salts also stimulates blood circulation.
Don’t forget to buy the various face masks and other skin care products from the shops near the Dead Sea. You won’t find any as effective as these elsewhere.
A Word of Warning: Don’t expose skin with cuts/bruises to the Dead Sea water. Avoid shaving/waxing at least 48 hours before you enter the sea. Even a tiny cut exposed to the Dead Sea water can burn as if it has been set on fire.
Don’t try to swim or dip your face into the Dead Sea water as it can result in choking if it enters your nose or mouth. Also, keep your eyes well protected from the sea water or it will result in heavy burning.
Avoid staying in the water for more than 15 minutes as your skin might start itching. You may take breaks in between your dips.
Floating in the Dead Sea was an amazing and one of its kind experience!