The Dead Sea has a rich history – from Biblical writings, to how the Egyptians used the mud in their mummification process – but little has changed since the days of Cleopatra, who lusted after its healing properties and built the world’s first ever spa along its shores. It is difficult not to get caught up in its claim for beautification when you’re there, and floating, and covered completely in mud.
Sixty-seven kilometres long, eighteen kilometres at its widest point and boarding Jordan and Israel, the Dead Sea is vast and can be easily reached within both countries. Over eight times saltier than the Ocean, the salinity of the Dead Sea is too high for any fish or plants to live in and makes the water dense enough to make you to float like an inflatable rubber dingy. So if swimming isn’t your forte you won’t be taking any chances with your life by dipping in.
Despite its name, the Dead Sea is not actually a sea but a saltwater lake and it isn’t completely dead, as some living organisms such as types of bacteria have evolved to survive these usually inhospitable conditions. In fact the whole area around the Dead Sea makes you feel like you’ve entered an unearthly like existence – strange rock formations, depletion of plants and miles upon miles of wide, barren land; it’s how you imagine life on Mars to be (minus the people).
If the thought of being at the lowest point on earth doesn’t get your sense of wanderlust into a frenzy, then appreciation for its mineral studded properties will. All my life I’ve suffered from bouts of dry skin and eczema but as soon as I walked into the Dead Sea those areas were targeted by the skin healing properties of the Dead Sea, including calcium, potassium and saline. Beware though, it’s a little like washing a mouth ulcer out with saltwater – to feel good it’s got to hurt at first!