DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

Dead Sea:Why is the Dead Sea called the Dead Sea?

The sea is called “dead” because its high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present. In times of flood, the salt content of the Dead Sea can drop from its usual 35% to 30% or lower.

Dead Sea, Arabic Al-Baḥr Al-Mayyit (“Sea of Death”), Hebrew Yam HaMelaẖ (“Salt Sea”), also called Salt Sea, landlocked salt lake between Israel and Jordan in southwestern Asia. Its eastern shore belongs to Jordan, and the southern half of its western shore belongs to Israel.


What is Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth at 430.5 meters (1412 feet) below sea level. It is a majestic and mysterious looking lake of light turquoise waters with salt crystals jutting out of it, and golden-brown hills surrounding it.

Where is the Dead Sea?

It is located in the Jordan Rift Valley, bordered by Israel to the East and Jordan to the West. Its hyper-salty waters and mineral-rich mud are known for their many health benefits, and many tourists and locals alike visit the hotels and spas on its beaches for mud treatments and salt baths.

Why is the Dead Sea so salty?

The Dead Sea is famously known for being one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, and certainly the deepest hyper-saline in the world, at a depth of 304 meters (997 feet). And the reason for this high salinity? The Dead Sea is a terminus for the flow of rain and surface water, which means water flows into it but doesn’t flow out: its water has no escape, but is trapped to evaporate.  Soaring summer temperatures and year-round hot dry climatic conditions make it a perfect place to spend unforgettable holidays yet lead to significant losses of water to evaporation. The water has been losing its H2O content for 65,000 years, with the minerals becoming more and more concentrated and salt prominent among them.

How did the Dead Sea get its name?

In various languages, the Dead Sea is referred to by different names, all reflective of its characteristics. Let’s take a look at all its different names and understand their origins.

The Salt Sea

The Dead Sea’s earliest known name is recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, where it is referred to as “the Salt Sea”, from the Book of Genesis through to The Prophets and later writings. This name was given to due to its unique character: its significantly high salt content, which makes it a source for rock and sea salts.

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