The Dead Sea is dying and shrinking more and more every year. It is located in the heart of the Syrian-African rift valley with Jordan, Palestine and Israel on its borders. The Dead Sea has its surface 429 meters below sea level, making it the lowest point in the world.
The Dead Sea: a true natural wonder
The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is 50km long and up to 15km wide. It is known as one of the greatest natural wonders on the planet and is also one of the saltiest water bodies. However, in the last few decades, it has seen a lot of deterioration and is shrinking by about a meter every year.
Because of high levels of sodium chloride and other salts found in the sea, it is possible for humans to float on its surface. Hence, it is highly popular among people in the Middle East. The reason behind its name being the “Dead Sea” is that marine life is not able to thrive in its water due to unusually high salt levels.
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For thousands of years, it has offered healing properties. Humans discovered over the years that the water of the Dead Sea has great healing powers and helps treat conditions affecting the skin, tongue and heart.
Reasons leading to depletion
The possible reason for the sea’s demise could be its magic healing powers, with humans filching the natural springs to pour into beauty products and therapeutic treatments, says news.com.au. Water is supplied to Israel from the lake with the help of a pipeline, and this diversion of water resources could be another reason for the annual shrinking of the lake by about 3.3 feet per year, says AOL.com.
Also the environmentalist group EcoPeace Middle East wrote on its website, “Far and away the biggest cause of the rapid disappearance of the Dead Sea is the lack of water coming into it from its traditional sources — the Jordan River.”
Efforts to restore water levels
Humans have interfered a lot with nature, and after the ozone layer depletion leading to the melting of ice on the Earth’s poles, the next big effect is possibly being seen on the Dead Sea. With the aim of stabilizing the water levels in the Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan signed a $900 million deal in 2015.
Also to attract people’s attention to the falling water levels, a group of marathon swimmers recently swam a stretch of the Dead Sea. Though they were wearing protective face masks, one of them still said that he felt as if the water was some kind of acid burning his eyeballs, noted AOL.com.