TheDead Sea (Yam Hamelakh -- "The Salt Sea") is the lowest place on earth,roughly 1,300 feet below sea level. It is 34 miles long and variesbetween 11 miles and 2 miles in width. The Sea is 1,400 feet deep. This unique sea is fed by the Jordan River. There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation (high temperatures, low humidity) produces large quantities of raw chemicals. These are extracted and exported throughout the world for use in cosmetics, medicine, agriculture and industry.
The Dead Sea is actually shrinking. The southern end is now fed by acanal maintained by the Dead Sea Works, a company that converts the Sea's raw materials, particularly phosphates, into commercial products.
Visitors can float effortlessly on the waters of the Dead Sea due toits concentration of minerals, which is the highest in the world. The air is extremely dry, and temperatures are high throughout the year(max. 86° during winter, and 104° during summer).
Floating is a novelty that makes visiting the Dead Sea a kick, but most visitors come for the therapeutic value of the mud and salt water. People with skin disorders such as psoriasis and ailments such as arthritis have found relief from treatments using the Sea's natural resources. Oh, and if you have an open cut or sore, be forewarned, the salt water stings.
Archaeological ruins are scattered in the area. The area is best known, however, for being the site of the biblical towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. South of the Sea, on the way to Eilat, is a rock salt formation that tourists are told is Lot's wife. According to the Torah, Lot's wife ignored G-d's admonition not to look back at the cities Hewas destroying as they left and was turned into a pillar of salt.
Learn more about the Dead Sea
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at AICE's Web site.