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The Dead Sea (‘Yam Ha-Melah’ in Hebrew, ‘al-Bahr El-Mayyit in Arabic) is situated between Jordan and Israel. It is the lowest lake in the world and lies about 422 metres below sea level. With 33.7% salinity, it contains the saltiest water in the world. This is because several rivers carrying minerals (including salt) flow into the lake, but none flow out of it. The Surface water evaporates, but all the minerals remain behind. The Dead Sea is 8.6 times more salty than the ocean.

The Salt makes it easy for swimmers to float – you can even read a book or a newspaper while floating on your back. In fact the lake contains six times more salt than ordinary sea water so a swimmer’s body is six times more buoyant than usual.

Biblically, it 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 and cosmetics for skin treatment and beautification for women.

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