Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Undead Sea

It’s called the Dead Sea, but the great lake on the River Jordan, at the border between Israel and Jordan, isn’t quite dead. It’s true fish can’t survive in it, but microbes can. And it’s alive with history and scientific mystique.

In the Bible, it’s referred to as the Salt Sea, for it is, indeed, seven times saltier than the oceans. It’s believed the tragic biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah lie at the bottom of the lake. Today, it’s the site of health resorts. Visitors seek not only its mineral benefits but the unique sensation of its buoyancy. Not only can you float in it quite easily; some maintain it’s virtually impossible to drown in the Dead Sea.

One final factoid: It’s the lowest body of natural water on earth, its surface more than 1,300 feet below sea level.


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