SAVE  THE  DEAD SEA AND THE JORDAN RIVER

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     The Dead Sea – a real «wonder of nature» – is drying out. Over the past decades its level had already dropped by 35 meters and continues to drop by more than a meter per year. The discharge of the Jordan River, sacred for the three monotheistic religions, has shrunk almost ten times, and the water in the river is so polluted that it makes it dangerous to dive into it. Karst holes are formed at the dried sea bottom – there are already several thousand of them. The population of the surrounding desert areas receives less than a quarter of the necessary drinking water.

     Regretfully, practically nothing is done to prevent the ecological catastrophe. The transporting of waste materials from the desalinating plant in Aqaba and water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea provided for by the Agreement between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Israel and Palestinian Administration in 2013, not only doesn’t improve the situation, but makes it worse. The Dead Sea drying-out will continue. The effectiveness of the chemical plants operation will decline. That can lead to the working places decrease for the citizens of the South Israel, as well as for the citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It also threatens the unique content of the salts defining the effectiveness of the medical/resort activity. Construction and operation of the water pipeline will require very big expenses. The population of the adjacent area will not receive the water. If existing situation will continue we are at risk of losing the Dead Sea. The example of the Aral Sea shows how real is this threat. This lake that was the fourth in the world is almost completely dried out, and people that should save it just confirmed its disappearance. If we don’t want the Dead Sea to repeat the fate of Aral Sea, it is necessary to start saving it and rouse to action the corresponding authorities.

FACTS ABOUT THE DEAD SEA:

1.The sea surface is located more than 400m below sea level, therefore it is considered the lowest point on the planet. Sea depth – 377m, width – 18km(in the widest place).

2.The salinity of the lake is 33.7%, which makes it one of the most saline on Earth. Although the salinity of Assal lakes (Djibouti), Kara-Bogaz-Gol and some hypersaline lakes in Antarctica is even greater. People can easily stay on the water due to the high concentration of salt in it. This is the only sea in which it is impossible to drown and in which no fish are found.

3.Water of the Dead Sea is a viscous, oily liquid. This consistency is obtained due to the large amount of calcium chloride contained in it. At the same time, the water temperature from April to October is about 30 degrees, which may seem somewhat unpleasant for swimming.

4.The sea is located in the Rift Valley of Jordan, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

5.The Dead Sea is a world center of treatment and one of the first resorts in the world. The absence of allergens in the water, rich mineral composition, minimal ultraviolet radiation, high atmospheric pressure at depth – have a beneficial effect on the body. 2000 years ago, King Herod, according to the ancient Roman historian Flavius, visited the Dead Sea for the sake of hot springs, where in fact I found both a cure for illness and peace for the soul. And for Cleopatra, the most precious salts and minerals of the Dead Sea were the main dream, passion, fix idea. In the 1st century BC, Mark Anthony conquered the Dead Sea region especially for her. The first hotels with healing baths appeared in the south of the Dead Sea in the late 1960s, and gradually the healing resorts of the Dead Sea (Ein Bokek, Hammey-Zohar and others) gained worldwide fame. But his healing properties were known long before that: even King Herod and Cleopatra knew his magical power.

6.The Bible says that it was here that the refuge of King David was located.

7.The lowest road in the world (393 m below sea level): 90-kilometer highway, located along Israel, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The only place on earth where natural asphalt (bitumen) comes to the surface. Bitumen was highly regarded as a replacement for lime mortar, a remedy and a means to protect vineyards from pests. For thousands of years, the Egyptians used it to mummify the deceased. And the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians called this lake “Asphalt” and smashed their ships with asphalt extracted from it. One of the few in the world, this natural asphalt deposit is being developed to this day .. Also, potash fertilizers are also mined here.

8.The lowest point on the planet has a developed fauna: many species of animals live here. In the area you can find camels, mountain goats, hares, damans, jackals, and sometimes leopards. In addition, hundreds of bird species inhabit the region. Today, this natural wealth is located in nature reserves near the Dead Sea. From plants, one can distinguish high calotropis, or “Sodom apple”, some types of acacia, thorns, creepers, solonchak plants resistant to droughts and high salt concentrations in the soil, as well as many date palm trees. A kind of successor to long-standing traditions is today the kibbutz under the same name Ein Gedi, founded in 1953. On the territory of this agricultural commune, dates are not only grown – they produce the famous mineral water, the source of which was known 3000 years ago, and cosmetics based on Dead Sea minerals.

9.Dead Sea cosmetics is based on the amazing components that make up the Dead Sea. Clay, salts, algae are rich in vitamins and amino acids. They improve the appearance of the skin, slow down the aging process. Minerals and the rarest elements of the Dead Sea perfectly moisturize and increase skin tone, wrinkles disappear. For example, calcium strengthens cells, helps to heal wounds, sodium and potassium help minerals to absorb, regulate the moisture level in the body, magnesium fights the aging process, increases the vitality of body cells and possesses anti-allergic effect, bromine calms the nervous system, on the shores of the Dead Sea all your problems will recede into the background. Salt and mud of the Dead Sea without any additives are most effective and beneficial for our body and, no less important, absolutely safe. Mud baths exfoliate dead skin cells and cleanse pores, relieve muscle tension, fight hated cellulite, heal cracks in the skin and improve blood circulation in the body, thereby contributing to deep skin warming.

10. The unusual origin of the Dead Sea is described in the Old Testament. It is called the “Salt Sea” and is associated with the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, when God, about to punish the cities that were mired in debauchery, warned the righteous Lot, who had left his city with his wife just before their destruction. Lot’s wife could not resist and turned to see what would happen to the city. Thus, violating the Lord’s prohibition, and for this it was turned into a salt pillar, which still rises on the shores of the Dead Sea and is called the “wife of Lot”. Due to its connection with biblical events, this place has become a place of pilgrimage. But not only because of the history of Lot. The Jordan River flows into the lake – the legendary river in which John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. This holy place of baptism on the banks of the Jordan, visited by many pilgrims. An interesting fact: the Jordan River flows from the Sea of Galilee (Lake Galilee), on which Jesus Christ performed his famous miracles.


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