If you’re considering traveling to Israel, the Dead Sea can be a great place to visit. There are many different things to see and do there. From floating in the water to visiting the various animal species that live in the area, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
Ancient Essenes settled on the western shore of the Dead Sea
The Essenes were one of the Jewish religious groups in the time of Jesus. Their adherence to strict Jewish law was noteworthy, as was their special concern for purity of the priesthood. In addition, they believed in the coming war with the Sons of Darkness. They were also noted for their impressive discipline.
Josephus described their piety and practices. He mentioned two types of Essenes: those who ate communally and those who did not. Although there is no proof that Qumran was their home, they did settle near the Dead Sea.
One of their notable achievements was a collection of scrolls in jars. These scrolls were a large contribution to the study of Biblical texts. Some of these scrolls were found in several different locations throughout the time period in which they were written.
One such scroll was found in the ruins of Qumran. This document is known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, it is still debated whether or not these scrolls were actually produced by an Essene group.
Another notable item is the discovery of an ancient Hebrew calendar. This document has been the subject of much debate. Many researchers agree that it is a useful piece of information, but some are skeptical that it was indeed an actual scroll.
A scribes’ room was located in the center of the settlement. It was used for writing the Bible as well as a variety of other materials, including apocrypha and other religious texts.
There was also a ritual bath. The site had a courtyard with a series of pools surrounded by a wall.
The Essenes did not have women and they did not have much money. But the best thing about the Essenes was their piety. They believed that the Messiah was coming soon.
Increasing salinity of the upper-layer waters of the Dead Sea
The salinity of the upper-layer waters of the Dead Sea in Israel has been steadily increasing for more than 40 years. This phenomenon may be a clue to the ancient sea beds of this region.
Earlier, the Dead Sea water body had a homogeneous distribution of temperature, composition, and water flow. A layer of salt built up on the bottom of the lake, and the water was rich in bicarbonates and sulfates. It was also covered with subterranean caverns.
The lower layers were not saturated, so they remained warmer than the upper layers. However, during the 1970s and 1980s, the Jordan River was diverted, and the freshwater flow from the river into the Dead Sea decreased. As a result, the Dead Sea began to shrink.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Dead Sea’s water level dropped 0.7 meters per year. This allowed groundwater to rise. The result was that several hundred sinkholes were formed in the region. These sinkholes are popular with tourists.
Salt is deposited on the bottom of the lake through the Dead Sea fingering process. However, the amount of salt on the lake’s bottom depends on season. Also, the density of the lake’s surface and the density of the salt layers within the layers will determine how much salt is deposited on the bed.
Currently, the Dead Sea’s water balance is estimated by using measured meteorological and hydrographic data. This water balance estimates the evaporation rate and the rate of salt precipitation from hypersaline brine.
During the second half of the 20th century, the Dead Sea water inflows were estimated to be between 1600 and 2000 x 106 m3 per year. Today, this figure is estimated at about 1000 x 106 m3 per year.
Floating on the Dead Sea
Floating on the Dead Sea in Israel is a must-do for those looking for an indulgent day trip. Although it is a salty lake, it is actually quite comfortable. And, it is possible to float there year round.
Floating on the Dead Sea is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy, no matter their age or fitness level. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before you make the trip.
The best time to float in the Dead Sea is in the spring, from March to May. This is the best time to avoid the scorching heat of the summer.
You can also visit in the fall, from September to November. Though the weather can be a bit colder, it’s still not that bad.
There are other things to do while you’re here. Check out Ein Gedi Beach, for example. It’s a public beach, so it’s free to enjoy. A little more out of the way is Neve Midbar, which has a Moroccan feel.
For the more energetic, you can float in the Dead Sea in winter. Unfortunately, the sun isn’t always out and the water can get too hot.
One of the most fascinating facts about the Dead Sea is that it’s the lowest land elevation in the world. So, it’s no wonder that the water has such a high concentration of minerals.
Despite its size, the Dead Sea is home to many unique and interesting features. From tiny microorganisms to microbial fungi, the Dead Sea has a lot to offer.
Taking a float in the Dead Sea is one of the most satisfying and relaxing experiences of all. But, if you’re going to have a good time, you should be careful.
Animal species inhabit the Dead Sea
Dead Sea is a hypersaline lake that is located in the Jordan Rift Valley. Its name comes from Hebrew, which means “Sea of Salt”. The water in the Dead Sea is so salty that it is more than ten times saltier than the ocean.
Due to the extreme saltiness of the water, only a few animal species can live in the area. They include ibex, leopards, camels and hyraxes. Other animals that live in the region are pelicans and brine shrimp.
Some types of bacteria and algae also inhabit the water. These include cyanobacteria and protozoans. In a study of the Dead Sea, microbiologist Benjamin Elazari-Volcani found many microscopic life forms. He termed these organisms “halotolerant” and said they were able to survive in a salty environment.
A major factor that affects the Dead Sea is the diversion of the Lower Jordan River. This water is diverted to the Jordan valley, which in turn causes the Dead Sea to shrink. Since 1950, inflow of freshwater has decreased from 1,250 million cubic meters per year to 260 million cubic meters.
There are also many sinkholes in the Dead Sea. They have caused damage to buildings and agricultural lands. Sinkholes can collapse without warning. If not controlled, they could be a threat to the local community and people.
Many species of birds are native to the Dead Sea. During the biannual great migration, 500 million birds take refuge in the region.
Other species that reside in the area include reptiles and amphibians. Israeli scientists estimate that there are approximately 30,000 invertebrates living in the area.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. However, it is also the saltiest.
Stock photos of the Dead Sea
If you are visiting the holy land, you have to check out the Dead Sea. The area is a wonderland. Having a dip in its ephemeral waters is the pinnacle of luxury. The water is extracted for a myriad of reasons. For one, it is an enclave for tourists and the locals alike. That, and the fact that the area is devoid of life. Having a bath in its mineral rich waters is not as much of a chore as it sounds.
Taking the time to visit the area will be a trip of a lifetime. In the past decade, the region has witnessed a boom in tourism. As a result, the Dead Sea is home to numerous spas, resorts, and golf courses. Some of the more popular locales are the Dead Sea Resort and Spa in Ein Gedi, Israel, and the Dead Sea Hotel in Nazareth, Jordan. Both of these venues offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. A side trip to the nearby Bedouin settlement of Kfar ha-Bahar is a must. While you are in the vicinity, a trip to the famed Masada fortress may also be in order.
Despite its name, the Dead Sea is actually located in the West Bank of Israel. To get there, you will need to travel via Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. You may also choose to take the less traveled road, a.k.a. highway 90. Thankfully, there are no traffic jams to wrangle with. This is all thanks to the presence of the Holy Land’s aforementioned emirs. One of the best times to visit is during the off season, as the sun drenched locales will make for a swell family vacation.