The water level in the Dead Sea is dropping nearly 4 feet (1.2 meters) per year. Israel is campaigning to have the Dead Sea – the earth’s lowest point and repository of precious minerals – named one of the natural wonders of the world. And at the same time, it is in a race to stabilize what it deems “The world’s largest natural spa” so hotels on its southern end are not swamped and tourists may continue to bask and float in the lake’s therapeutic waters.
Alon Tal an Israeli researcher says that:
“In five to 10 years, (the water) would flood the hotel lobbies, no question.”
The Dead Sea is divided into a southern and northern basin, located at different elevations, largely disconnected and miles (kilometers) apart. This means the rising waters of the southern basin cannot pour into the shrinking basin in the north.
Heavy industrialization is the cause of the waters on the southern basin to rise. A few chemical companies have built evaporation pools there to extract lucrative minerals. Tons and tons of salt are left annually on the floor of these pools, causing the water to rise 8 inches (20 centimeters) per year.
Israel’s tourism and environmental protection ministers are endorsing Tal’s proposal: An intricate $2 billion plan to chip off the salt buildup on the part of the lake which is rising and send it by conveyor belt to the northern end which is shrinking.
Recent research shows evidence of truth to the Sodom and Gomorrah story. Five miles out from the shore of the Dead Sea, near to the center of that mysterious body of water, an international team of scientists from Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Japan and the United States have been drilling beneath the seabed with the hopes of digging up a record of climate change and earthquake history, which would stretch back half a million years.
The 40 day project, led by Israel and bank-rolled by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, based in Germany, culminated in finding a wood fragment, roughly 400,000 years old and a layer of gravel from a mere 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. These findings evinced that what is now the middle of the Dead Sea was once a shore.
The objective of the experiment was to extract a geological core that might supply information of global importance on natural processes and environmental changes.
The Dead Sea, in Israel, sits in the deepest, largest basin in the world. The scientists drilled at the center because they assumed the sediment accumulated there had always been underneath the water and the better preserved for never having had exposure to the atmosphere.
The first borehole reached nearly 1,500 feet below the seabed until the drill-head actually died. That hole produced scores of plastic tubes filled with continuous segments of sediment. They will be sent to Germany for analysis.
The varying layers of mud and salt seem to represent both wet and dry periods, respectively. The gravel at the bottom was similar to what is found today on the shores of the Sinai Peninsula. While the Dead Sea’s levels have dropped, purportedly because of human intervention, the famous body of water had in history reached yet lower levels and still managed to bounce back.
There’s a new Asthma treatment gaining momentum in several countries, especially in Israel (home of the famous Dead Sea):
Salt room therapy started in Eastern Europe, in mines. Miners with lung conditions noticed that they felt much better and even were “cured” of their diseases while in the mines. Today, a patient sits in a room built of salt blocks mined from far below the ground in Ukrainian caves. The air in the salt room contains high quantities of negative ions, which seem to clear mucus and purify the lungs. The salt also helps asthmatics cough up their mucus.
Well, we should always be careful when exposing ourselves to radiation! However, there are several spots on Earth where exposing ourselves to the sun’s radiation has become a healthy practice.
One such spot is the Dead Sea (actually a lake), which lies in the desert between Israel and Jordan in the Middle East. The Dead Sea Valley is the lowest place on Earth, standing 300 meters below sea level. Yes, much lower than the Netherlands. In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is known as the Salty Sea, because the ground in the valley is rich with salts. As a result, the lake itself is very salty, making the water relatively heavier, and thus allowing people to easily float above them in a lying position.
The salty atmosphere also filters a large percentage of the sun’s hazardous radiation, making it more difficult for people bathing in the lake to suffer sunburns. This is why people with Psoriasis from all across the world come to the Dead Sea to enjoy its unique properties. Sun exposure is a proven remedy for Psoriasis, and it’s safer to “get some sun” down in that valley.
Natural phenomena never ceases to amaze me!
I came across this article about a mysterious fireball falling down in the Middle East, a week after a similarly-looking meteor(?) was spotted in Los Angeles.
How freaky is that?
Environmental Architecture is a field that’s becoming more and more prevalent around the world. As our planet population constantly expands while available space is only getting more sparse, bold solutions are in dire need.
One such futuristic solution comes from New York-based architect Phu Hoang
. His architecture firm is aiming to tackle the issue of the receding water level at the Dead Sea. This famous salt lake is the world’s lowest point, and is situated between Israel and Jordan in the Middle East. This hot region isn’t blessed with lots of fresh water, and Hoang’s suggestion explains how the Dead Sea offers the opportunity to desalinate fresh water, made available for both Israel and Jordan, while luring tourists from around the world.
They key to his plan lies in the fact that the receding water levels reveal new land patches that aren’t claimed by any country, and can thus be referred to as “No Man’s Land”. He proposes to construct artificial archipelago in this No Man’s Land, which will transform the humid air into drinkable water.
Have you heard of any other futuristic designs? Feel free to let us know about them.
Anybody who has visited one of the several health spas located at the Dead Sea, or has simply bathe in the sea’s highly saline waters, has surely seen people covering themselves with a black mud which is found abundantly on the shores of the world’s lowest point on earth. There is good reason why this is done, as the Dead Sea’s mineral rich water and mud have some of the most beneficial health properties of any such area in the world. By simply applying this substance to one’s skin and allowing it to remain for an hour or so before peeling and washing it off, those suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis, or if looking for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging effects, will receive numerous benefits from the more than 17 minerals present in Dead Sea mud.
You don’t have to journey all the way to Israel to experience this, however, as a number of cosmetic companies offer Dead Sea Mud and other cosmetic products composed of the wondrous natural products which are harvested directly from the Dead Sea. Pure Dead Sea Mud can be found in both pharmacies and in the cosmetic departments of major department stores worldwide. The mud, which can be heated in one’s microwave oven to desired application temperature (be sure to follow instructions on the package when heating the mud in your microwave) will have almost the same effect as direct application on the shore of the Dead Sea. To give you an idea of this ‘miracle mud’s benefits, many of its minerals and their attributes are noted here:
Boron: Relieves psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
Bromine: Soothes and tones skin tissue
Calcium: Helps cell production and bone tissue; treats osteoporosis
Lithium: Aids in treatment of psoriases
Manganese: Antioxidant; helps delay aging in skin tissue
Magnesium: Stimulates protein synthesis and body energy
Potassium: Helps clear up skin complexion problems such as acne
Sodium: Improves skin cell metabolism
Strontium: An anti-itching and irritant mineral, especially when many cosmetics are used frequently
Zinc: Helps cell renewal and fights free radical tissue degeneration. Good against acne.
Of course, the combined benefits of the enriched oxygen and sunlight radiation found at Dead Sea together with its mineral laden waters and mud give the maximum health results. But for those who live far away, it’s now possible to bring the benefits of the Dead Sea’s curing minerals into the comfort of your own home, and at a very reasonable cost.
The Dead Sea, the world’s lowest point on earth, contains a vast wealth of very beneficial minerals and other products. Known for years as being very beneficial for the healing of people with a number of skin diseases (especially psoriasis and seborrhea) the sea’s mineral rich waters is often a recommended part of the treatment for these diseases; and people come from all over the world to bathe in the heavily saline waters, with a salinity content of nearly 25%. The minerals extracted from large collection pools on the sea’s southern shores are made into a number of cosmetic products and marketed worldwide. The following chart shows some of the Dead Sea’s most beneficial minerals (21 minerals are found in the lake’s waters), and the role they play in improving peoples’ health:
Potassium-Sodium: Supplies energy to skin cells
Magnesium: Activates enzymes to accelerate cell regeneration
Bromide: Soothes and treats skin ailments
Chloride: Helps balance body’s minerals
Calcium: Strengthens cell membranes and eases pain
A wide range of cosmetics are made from these minerals, as well as from Dead Sea salts and mud, which people either bathe in or apply to liberally to their bodies at several spas and resorts located on the lake’s shore. One of the most prominent of these companies, Dead Sea Cosmetics Inc, markets its cosmetics under the world renown Ahava line. These cosmetics, which include not only soaps, shampoos, creams, and lotions, also include containers of the Dead Sea’s original medicinal salts and mud, enabling people to benefit from the lake’s healing qualities without actually visiting there. The cosmetic products, for both men and women, also include a special line of aromatic lotions and oils, which have a special soothing and moistening effect on the skin. Some of the aromatic bath salts, for example, allow the user to feel that he is actually lying in the Dead Sea’s mineral-rich waters, while giving a pleasant aromatic scent. Those who suffer from scalp conditions, such as severe dandruff, will find Dead Sea shampoos very beneficial in controlling these conditions.
Dead Sea cosmetics can be found in many drug stores and pharmacies in Europe, the Far East, and North America. They can also be ordered directly via the Internet.
The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, is an extremely saline inland sea, originally formed millions of years ago as a part of the great Syro-African Rift; which stretches from Israel’s northern border all the way to Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa. With an annual evaporation rate of more than 5 million gallons, the lake has an accumulation of salt and other minerals so dense that its salinity percentage averages between 25 and 35% – more than any other body of water in the world.
The immense healing properties of this dense, mineral mixture, combined with a rich oxygen atmospheric level, has made the sea very well known for its medicinal healing properties since ancient times. King Solomon, the Greek philosopher Aristotle, Herod the Great, and even the Queen of Sheba, were familiar with the healing qualities of the waters of the Dead Sea. In the Bible, the Hebrew Prophet, Elisha, prescribed to a famous general to dip himself several times in the waters of the Jordan (at the entrance to the Dead Sea), to be rid of leprosy. That ‘leprosy’ of General Sisra has now been assumed to be one of many forms of skin conditions including psoriasis, seborrhea, and others.
To this day, thousands of people visit the several hotels and spas on the shores of the Sea to bathe in its waters and gain relief from a variety of medical ailments, including the ones already mentioned. The minerals found in the mud of the Dead Sea are also very popular, and many people completely cover themselves with this mixture to obtain relief.
Hundreds of cosmetic products, made from these minerals, as well as the salt and mud itself, are sold all over the world, enabling people to enjoy the medicinal qualities of the Dead Sea in their own homes. The manufacture of these Dead Sea mineral products has grown into a multimillion dollar industry; perhaps even surpassing the revenues that both Israel and Jordan already receive from the sale of potash, nitrates, and other minerals mined from the shores of the Dead Sea. It is also said by many that just sitting or lying in the Sea’s extremely buoyant waters gives them an extreme calming effect, not found anywhere else.