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Photographer's Note

Floating in the Dead Sea at the end of the day. It feels so good that you can fall asleep without the danger of drowning...

Swimming here is kind of surrealist and it has to be experienced to fully understand the meaning of "Bob like a cork". People don't really "swim" in the Dead Sea - they just "hang out". That's what's so cool about the Dead Sea. Because of the extremely high concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water its density is way more than that of plain fresh water. What this means is our bodies are more buoyant in the Dead Sea - so you bob like a cork. In fact, people are so buoyant in this water, it makes it kinda tough to actually swim. Most people like to just kick back in the water and read.

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Interesting information about the Dead Sea:

Why is it Called the Dead Sea?

Sounds kinda creepy, doesn't it? The name 'Dead Sea' is actually a kinder, gentler translation from the Hebrew name 'Yam ha Maved', which means, 'Killer Sea'. The surface of the Dead Sea is over 1,300 feet below sea level. The very bottom of the sea, in the deepest part, is over 2,300 feet below sea level. The Dead Sea has some of the most saline water on earth; as much as 35% of the water is dissolved salts! The Dead Sea is completely landlocked and it gets saltier with increasing depth. The surface, fed by the River Jordan, is the least saline. Down to about 130 feet (40 meters), the seawater comprises about 300 grams of salt per kilogram of seawater. That's about ten times the salinity of the oceans. Below 300 feet, though, the sea has 332 grams of salt per kilogram of seawater and is saturated. Salt precipitates out and piles up on the bottom of the sea.

There are no fish or any kind of swimming, squirming creatures living in or near the water. There are, however, several types of bacteria and one type of algea that have adapted to harsh life in the waters of the Dead Sea. What you'll see on the shores of the Sea is white, crystals of salt covering EVERYTHING. And this is no ordinary table salt, either. The salts found in the Dead Sea are mineral salts, just like you find in the oceans of the world, only in extreme concentrations. The water in the Dead Sea is deadly to most living things. Fish accidentally swimming into the waters from one of the several freshwater streams that feed the Sea are killed instantly, their bodies quickly coated with a preserving layer of salt crystals and then tossed onto shore by the wind and waves. Brutal!

(Source: Dead Sea)

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Additional Photos by Ricardo Lopes (riclopes) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6857 W: 151 N: 10359] (35577)
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