Tag: Dead Sea

I might be in a chilly Cheltenham today but this time last year I was in the much more exotic – and warm – location of Jordan. Visiting the ancient city of Petra is something that features on a lot of people’s bucket lists, and it’s easy to combine a visit with a trip to the Dead Sea and maybe the deserts of Wadi Rum or the beaches on the Red Sea coast all within a week’s holiday. But how much does it cost to visit Jordan?
The Dead Sea is already the world’s lowest and saltiest sea, but it’s getting lower and saltier all the time. Its hot weather and lack of rain mean more water evaporates out than flows in. So the salt gets more concentrated, as do other minerals like magnesium, sodium and potassium. Bad news for anything that wants to live in there, but good news for visitors who’ve been coming here for thousands of years to treat skin diseases by soaking in the waters or help breathing problems with its high oxygen level air. You don’t want to leave it too long to visit though, as the water level has been dropping by several feet a year as rivers get diverted for use in agriculture and industry.
The lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea is over 420 metres below normal sea level. It’s actually more a lake than a sea but is definitely dead – with water eight times saltier than the ocean, no fish or plants can survive in it. It’s surrounded by Jordan on its east bank and Israel on its left and is only 11 miles wide, so on a clear day you can see the land across the other side. Although the hills all around mean the sun doesn’t quite dip into the sea, you still get spectacular sunsets.

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