Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea? It’s a salt lake bordered by Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, and its shores mark the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. Its famously salty waters are a popular tourist attraction and many people come here hoping to float, or take a dip in its mineral-rich muds and beaches.
But why is it called the Dead Sea? It’s an interesting story and understanding it will give you a great appreciation for this unique body of water.
In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating reason behind why it is called the Dead Sea.
Why is it called the Dead Sea?The Dead Sea (or Salt Lake) is a salt lake that is situated in the Jordan Valley between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
It is one of the Earth’s saltiest lakes and one of the most outstanding places on the planet. Though it may seem strange, the Dead Sea is more than just a body of salty water, as it is known for its unique properties, its unusual environment and its history. So, why is the Dead Sea called the Dead Sea?
A Biblical MiracleThe name “Dead Sea” can be traced back to the Bible. According to the biblical legend, the Israelites were marching through the desert when they encountered the waters of the Dead Sea. At first, the water seemed to be fatal to them as none of them were able to traverse the lake.
However, Moses miraculously parted the waters allowing the Israelites to cross the lake safely. The origin of the Dead Sea’s name is attributed to this Bible story, as the lake was difficult to cross and is also known for its high-saline content.
In fact, due to its unique mix of salts and minerals, no life forms can survive in the Dead Sea. Thus, the body of water came to be known as the “Dead Sea”, in reference to its salty and inhospitable nature.
Saltiest Lake On EarthThe Dead Sea is the saltiest lake on Earth and its salinity can reach up to 33percent. This is because the evaporation process takes out far more water than the streams and rivers replenish the lake with. Despite its salinity, a sponge or coral reef cannot grow in the Dead Sea as common creatures cannot survive in such an environment.
The lack of life also means that the lake can have very dark colours. However, the saltiness of the Dead Sea has some interesting effects. For instance, its high saline content leads to a greater buoyancy, so much so that individuals can easily float in the lake without having to swim. As an additional benefit, the water’s high salt content also allows humans to eliminate toxins more quickly, which may explain why it has been a destination for tourists and those hoping to use the Lake to rejuvenate their health.