Why is the Dead Sea Called the Dead Sea?

Ever thought it strange that one sea is called the Dead Sea? Ancient Greek writers were the first people who called it that and they gave it an appropriate name because in the Dead Sea there are no sea animals.

The river Jordan flows into the Dead Sea, but fish that it brings instantly die. The sea is basically a big, narrow salty lake which is located between Jordan and Israel in Jordan’s Rift Valley. It is 75 kilometres long, and ranges from 5 to 17 kilometres across. The Dead Sea has the lowest sea level in the world, around 400 metres below sea level. The southern part is very shallow, but in the north it is 400 metres in depth.

More than a million years ago, the Dead Sea was 400 metres higher than the Mediterranean Sea. In this time it was a vibrant living sea world. However, the climate changed and over time it became arid and the lake shrank. There is no outlet streams for the Sea and only the river Jordan flows into it from the north. However there are small perennial springs under and around the Sea and most of its water is lost by intensive evaporation, so great amounts of minerals, such as potash and bromine are created. Concentration of the salt is around 31.5%. This is very unusual, and as a result the Sea has a nominal density of 1.24 kg/L. That’s the reason why anyone can float in the Dead Sea, even if you don’t know how to swim, you do not have to worry, your shoulders and head will always be above the sea level.

Today, the Dead Sea is very interesting for many health researchers for plenty of reasons. It has unusual mineral content, there is a very low level of pollens and other allergens in the air. Moreover, there is reduced ultraviolet solar radiation and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth has specific health effects. For example, people who suffer from some respiratory illnesses can get benefits from increased atmospheric pressure. People can sunbathe for long periods in the area due to its position below sea level because sun’s harmful ultra violets rays are reduced. People suffering from some skin disorders, can also benefit a lot. The area with its unique climate has become a popular centre for several areas of research such as climatotherapy (treatment which uses all climatic benefits, such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure), heliotherapy (which uses the effects of the sun’s radiation) and thalassotherapy (which exploits bathing in the Dead Sea water).