THE DEAD SEA
The Dead Sea in Israel is the lowest place on the planet and the biggest spa on the face of the earth.
The Dead Sea is globally famous for its unique ability to heal many illnesses and solve
many health-related problems - dermatological diseases, muscle problems, rheumatism,
problems associated with the circulation of the blood, and more.
The Dead Sea is one of the world's richest sources of salt and medicinal mud and this is due to
the high concentration of minerals in its water - magnesium, potassium, sodium, and many more.
The concentration of minerals in the Dead Sea is about 30% (weight per volume),
compared with about 2% in the water of the oceans of the world.
Some 26 minerals are to be found in the Dead Sea.
These minerals are not sensitive to oxidization, so that in practice,
their therapeutic qualities are conserved, since some are lipophilic and are capable of
penetrating the epidermis.
Until the winter of 1978-79, when a major mixing event took place,
the Dead Sea was composed of two stratified layers of water that differed in temperature,
density, age, and salinity. The topmost 35 metres (115 ft) or so of the Dead Sea had a salinity
that ranged between 300 and 400 parts per thousand and a temperature that swung
between 19 °C (66 °F) and 37 °C (99 °F). Underneath a zone of transition,
the lowest level of the Dead Sea had waters of a consistent 22 °C (72 °F) temperature and
complete saturation of sodium chloride (NaCl). Since the water near the
bottom is saturated, the salt precipitates out of solution onto the sea floor.
Composition of Dead Sea Water
Calcium sulfate 0.70
Magnesium bromide 0.90
Magnesium chloride 12.30
Calcium chloride 3.46
Natrium chloride 8.55
Potassium chloride 1.07
Beginning in the 1960s water inflow to the Dead Sea from the Jordan River was reduced as a result of large-scale irrigation and generally low rainfall.
By 1975 the upper water layer of the Dead Sea was saltier than the lower layer.
Nevertheless, the upper layer remained suspended above the lower layer because its waters were warmer and thus less dense.
When the upper layer finally cooled down so that its density was greater than the lower layer, the waters of the Dead Sea mixed (1978-79).
For the first time in centuries the lake was a homogeneous body of water. Since then stratification has begun to redevelop.
 The mineral content of the Dead Sea is very different from that of ocean water.
The exact composition of the Dead Sea water varies mainly with season, depth and temperature.
In the early 1980s the concentration of ionic species (in g/kg) of Dead Sea surface water was Cl− (181.4), Br− (4.2), SO42− (0.4), HCO3− (0.2), Ca2+ (14.1),
Na+ (32.5), K+ (6.2) and Mg2+ (35.2). The total salinity was 276 g/kg. These results show that w/w% composition of the salt,
as anhydrous chlorides, was calcium chloride (CaCl2) 14.4%, potassium chloride (KCl) 4.4%, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) 50.8% and
sodium chloride (common salt, NaCl) 30.4%. In comparison, the salt in the water of most oceans and seas is approximately 97% sodium chloride.
The concentration of sulfate ions (SO42−) is very low, and the concentration of bromide ions (Br−) is the highest of all waters on Earth.
The sea itself is abundant in minerals acclaimed to have therapeutic value.
The salt concentration of the Dead Sea fluctuates around 31.5%.
This is unusually high and results in a nominal density of 1.24 kg/L. Anyone can easily float in the Dead Sea because of natural buoyancy.
In this respect the Dead Sea is similar to the Great Salt Lake in Utah in the United States.
An unusual feature of the Dead Sea is its discharge of asphalt.
From deep seeps, the Dead Sea constantly spits up small pebbles and blocks of the black substance.
 Asphalt coated figurines and bitumen coated Neolithic skulls from archaeological sites have been found.
Egyptian mummification processes used asphalt imported from the Dead Sea region.