The Dead Sea

Among the sandy sun-scorched deserts of northwestern Arabia is a lake with a rather overcast name - the Dead Sea. Back in the old days, the Dead Sea caused terror in the Arabs and Greeks, who were afraid to approach him. They believed that from the bottom of its rising some deadly vapor, from which all living things around inevitably dies.

Among the sandy sun-scorched deserts of northwestern Arabia is a lake with a rather overcast name - the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is relatively small: about 75 km long and 15 km wide. It is located about 400 m below sea level. Therefore, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth's surface.

For the ancient legend, where today is located the Dead Sea, were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Scientists have conducted studies on the bottom of the Dead Sea and found there traces of an ancient civilization.

The Dead Sea is very "salty". In one liter of water is contained in excess of 260 grams of salt, i.e. 7,5 times greater than in the "normal" views. Through this, there can not exist any plants or animals.

In addition, in the Dead Sea can not drown. This extraordinary property caused by high salt content in the water of the Dead Sea. It contains billions of tons of magnesium compounds, potassium, bromine, chlorine, iodine and other chemical elements.

The first mention of the name "Dead Sea" found in the writings of the ancient Greek scholar Pausanias, who lived in the 2nd century, which is one of the first explored its waters. Lake defined in the "dead" in the title, because it was believed that because of the high salt content in it can not live fish or other organisms with the exception of certain types of bacteria. In the last years of the 20th - early 21st century it found about 70 species higher fungi, are able to carry a maximum salinity of the water body. The Dead Sea is fed by several intermittent streams and the Jordan River. Only in the last 40 years the volume of the watercourse was reduced from 1.43 billion cubic meters per year to 100 million. In the region of the Dead Sea were found the famous Qumran scrolls.

In the last century the natural resources of the Dead Sea are developed with ever increasing intensity. Industrial development of the minerals and the use of 80% of the tributaries flowing into the Dead Sea have led to a sharp drop in the groundwater level. In addition, during the last century the water level fell by 25 meters, and the destructive process progresses only. Today, sea level drops by an average of 1 meter per year. In 1977 it divided into two parts due to the drainage of the sea - north and south. The southern part is controlled by the mineralogical plants. Enterprises are extraction of bromine, potassium chloride, and other minerals. For these purposes, the southern part has been transformed into a system of interconnected pools. Thus it was broken the natural water circulation process in the Dead Sea.

In recent years, the situation began to threaten the tourism industry and caused concern of both Israel and Jordan. Several projects have been proposed for the transfer of the waters of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea.