A DAYTRIP TO THE DEAD SEA
From the historical significance of the area to the myth of where the name might have originated from, here is what you need to know about The Dead Sea before visiting
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Dave Herring, Konstantin Tretyak
22 November 2020
Known as the lowest point on Earth, The Dead Sea lays 1388 feet below sea level and is a favourite city break place for Jordanians and Israelis alike. There is nothing like a weekend getaway to recharge you and what better place to head to than the healing waters of The Dead Sea?!
The area is easy to get to. Even if you don’t have a car or haven't hired one whilst exploring Israel, scheduling a trip will be straightforward. Book an Uber as it is cheaper than a taxi and you won't have to argue for the price in advance. Once you get there, you will be grateful that you didn't skip this spot. From the historical significance of the area to the myth of where the name might have originated from, here is what you need to know about The Dead Sea before visiting.
It is over three million years old. Highway 90 runs nearby along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the sea. It is also the lowest road in the entire world.
Due to the extremely low location, the UV sunrays are not as strong in The Dead Sea. You can enjoy yourself without worrying about burning as you normally would at a different beach.
It is difficult to swim for long and the salty water can irritate your skin after a while so listen to your body and be mindful. A good tip is to not bring your best pair of swimming suit as the high concentration of salt discolours clothes quite quickly.
Kings and Queens and The Dead Sea
There are times in the past when the area was on the radar of kings and queens. King Herod the Great was convinced that The Dead Sea had a positive effect on his health and he started visiting more often. Later on, scientists proved that was truly the case. The healing effects of the water became notorious and the area is known as one of the first ever health resorts.
Cleopatra was also fascinated by the powers of the water. She had beauty factories as well as cosmetic resorts allegedly built along the shores so she could have a first-hand access to the healing land. Just imagine being able to swim in the same place that kings and queens once worshipped!
Then and now
Ancient Egypt also had use of The Dead Sea. As the salt level in the water is abnormal, asphalt rises naturally to the surface. It was used by Egyptians in the mummification procedures.
Back in 1947, a Bedouin boy discovered ancient Hebrew scrolls in Israel’s Judean Desert. Those scrolls became some of the most important finds of the modern archeology and later a collection of them was found scattered around the Judean Desert.
Now, travellers from near and far head to the area for relaxation and a day spent away from the city. A preferred spot by locals, The Dead Sea is a must-see for every nomad who is headed to Israel and Jordan.
It is no surprise that the water has health benefits. As it is nearly ten times saltier than the ocean, the salt concentration of the water doesn't allow you to sink and so you will only see people floating carefree on the surface. However, in the area even the air has healing powers. Its low concentration of allergens and pollens makes it an ideal spot to recover from the stress of your everyday routine in the city.
The minerals in the water and the mud make the place a health paradise. Make sure to apply the mud as many times as you can on your face and hair. They healthy powers of the land are proven to fight from cellulite to acne and more, so make the most of it whilst you are there.
The name 'Death Sea' was given to the place because no sea life, nor any animals can survive in the water. There are theories that the name refers to the lake being red when it was first discovered, which is not an unusual phenomenal and it might have occurred because of weather circumstances.
Even though water enters the lake from the Jordan River, no water goes out.
Despite being considered a natural wonder, we must do better to protect it. The Dead Sea is disappearing rapidly. We must take actions to preventbit from drying out or we risk seeing it disappear in our lifetime.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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