The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It’s a hypersaline lake that is truly one of Earth’s unique places. Below you will find ten interesting facts along with a gallery of picture of this fascinating place.
1. The surface and shores of the Dead Sea are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation on land.
2. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, making it the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride or other mineral salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water.
3. With 33.7% salinity, the Dead Sea is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. Although Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond) have reported higher salinities.
4. The Dead Sea’s unusually high salt concentration means that people can easily float in the Dead Sea due to natural buoyancy. In this respect the Dead Sea is similar to the Great Salt Lake in Utah in the United States.
5. The Dead Sea is roughly 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish (hence its name). The high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms such as fish and aquatic plants from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.
6. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley and its main tributary is the Jordan River.
7. The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health research and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollens and other allergens in the atmosphere, the reduced ultraviolet component of solar radiation, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effects.
8. Biblically, the Dead Sea was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers.
9. An unusual feature of the Dead Sea is its discharge of asphalt. From deep seeps, the Dead Sea constantly spits up small pebbles and blocks of the black substance. Asphalt coated figurines and bitumen coated Neolithic skulls from archaeological sites have been found. Egyptian mummification processes used asphalt imported from the Dead Sea region.
10. The world’s lowest road, Highway 90, runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the Dead Sea at 393 m (1,289 ft) below sea level.
BONUS: Amazing Transformation of a Traditional Black Wedding Gown Steeped in the Dead Sea Since 2014.
Photographed underwater, working in collaboration with Yotam From, the images document the transformation of a dress submerged in the salt-rich waters of the Dead Sea. The traditional Hasidic garment shown in the photographs is a replica of the costume worn by the female character Leah in the canonical Yiddish play, The Dybbuk..Landau’s practice is deeply connected with the Dead Sea. The artist shot some of her most iconic videos in its water, and has been experimenting with the salt crystallization of objects for years. The Dead Sea – the lifeless, lowest place on earth, in which the dress was immersed in one state, and from which it was pulled out in a very different form – sets an anticipated yet uncontrolled organic process in motion..
"My work is very much concerned with the body and my body wants to be a mirror of the place, and I believe this is true in reverse as well; the body can be like metaphor, you can write on the sand, salt crystallization can act as a "scab", it goes back and forth from the land to the body to several narratives" Sigalit Landau interviewed by @keenonmag Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to present "Salt Bride", a serie of eight large colour prints by @sigalitlandau. Preview: Thursday 28 July 2016, 12:00 – 14:00 Image: Sigalit Landau, Salt Crystal Bride Gown VIII, 2014 (detail). Colour print, 163 x 109. Photo: Studio Sigalit Landau #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary
The dress featured in Sigalit Landau's "Salt Bride" is a replica of a traditional Hasidic garment worn by the female character #Leah in the canonical Yiddish play #TheDybbuk, as portrayed by legendary actress #HannaRovina for forty years with the #HabimaTheatre, first in Russia and then in Israel #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary
"I go to the Dead Sea because it is like the moon, it is unique, it has laws of its own and because I grew up by this terminal lake" Sigalit Landau Image: Studio Landau at work with soon-to-be crystallized objects, July 2016. Photo: Shafax Haber #SaltBride #SigalitLandau #Salt #DeadSea #marlboroughcontemporary