The Dead Sea
Floating in the Dead Sea
Location - The Dead Sea
Map Coordinates - 31.760928, 35.504439
Because it is so close to Qumran, we generally let our Octagon Tour groups go wading in these exotic waters. There are several beaches on the shores of the Dead Sea, and weather permitting, tourists can either wade into the shallow waters, or be fully immersed in its salty brine.
The Dead Sea exists on the Jordan Rift Valley between Israel and Jordan, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. At this time, nothing flows out of the Dead Sea, which is one of the main reasons why it is so salty. The shores of the Dead Sea are the lowest land-based elevation on earth.
While the water of the Dead Sea is 9.6 times saltier than seawater, it is not the saltiest body of water on the earth. It is the seventh saltiest lake on the planet. Needless to say, you don’t want to open your eyes underwater when bathing here.
Although it appears that the Dead Sea does not support any marine life, there are bacteria and microbial fungi that have been found in its waters.
As the population of Israel grows, creating an ever-increasing demand for the freshwater that flows into Lake Galilee and ultimately into the Jordan River, the water level of the Dead Sea has been increasingly diminishing over the last 70 decades. Today it is almost half the size that it was in the 1930s. Rainfall is scarce in this desert region.
The main salt formations seen in photographs are almost all on the south side of the lake, and are generally inaccessible to tourists who are operating on a strict schedule. The northern end of the lake has almost no salt deposits.
Bathers have frequently covered themselves with mineral-rich mud found on the lake floor, which is believed to augment conventional medical therapy.
In Ezekiel 47:8–9 there is a specific prophecy that the sea will "be healed and made fresh", becoming a normal lake capable of supporting marine life.