Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is 79 km long and between 5km and 16 km wide. It is 400m deep at its deepest point. The sea lies 394 meters below sea level and is the saltiest of all seas, with a concentration of 32%, almost six times as salty as the ocean. The salts are mainly bromide and potash.

The Dead Sea is a landlocked lake between Jordan and Israel. The surface is less saline as the Jordan River flows into its surface. The sea has no marine life at all; the occasional fish accidentally swimming there from one of the freshwater streams is killed instantly and preserved in a layer of white salt crystals.

In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd found jars filled with ancient scrolls in a cave near the Dead Sea. Archaeologists excavated several caves and the ruin of Qumran on the northwestern shore and on a barren terrace between the caves and the Dead Sea. The scrolls have since been known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea area is a tourist destination; the health effects of Dead Sea minerals have been commercialized.