The earth's surface is mostly at or below sea level, as 71 percent of our planet is covered by water. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth. Here is a list of other places of low elevation.
Most of the depressions listed below have depths that are constantly changing according to shifting patterns in rainfall, water evaporation, human water consumption, flooding, and runoffs from nearby rivers and streams. The depressions that feature lakes or rivers may sometimes altogether disappear or reappear, depending on the seasonal water supply changes from natural sources. There are others among the lowest points on earth that are both under sea level and covered with ice. Points not listed herein are those points on the ocean floors or within caves, as we have only listed exposed lands. Even some of the world's greatest cities lie below sea level, including Bangkok, Amsterdam, and New Orleans. These, however, cannot compare themselves in terms of the depths at which those land areas listed below can claim to reach.
10. Salton Sea, USA, -227 feet
The tenth spot belongs to the Salton Trough, which is located between the United States and Mexico. It is 69 meters below sea level, a mere two meters higher than the lowest point in the U.S., the not-so-distant Death Valley.
9. Vpadina Akchanaya, Turkmenistan, -266 feet
The ninth place belongs to the Akchanaya Depression. This is located in Turkmenistan, and is 81 meters below sea level. Its location is in the Karakum Desert, which is one of the most arid areas in that country.
8. Death Valley, USA, -282 feet
Ranking eighth is Death Valley, which is in one of the hottest deserts in the United States. It is 86 meters below sea level. Occasionally, heavy rains will create flash floods, that in turn cause a lake to form at the bottom of the desert valley.
7. Laguna del Carbon, Argentina, -344 feet
The seventh place spot goes to the nation of Argentina, which is home to the San Julian Great Depression. It is 105 meters below sea level and situated in the Laguna del Carbon. The latter features salt marshes, and it is also known as the lowest location in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres.
6. Denakil, Ethiopia, -410 feet
Our sixth spot goes to the Denakil Depression, located in Ethiopia. It is in the Indian, Arabian, and African Afar Depression, caused by the motions of the three tectonic plates. It lies 125 meters below sea level.
5. Vpadina Karagiye, Kazakhstan, -433 feet
Fifth spot goes to the Vpadina Karagiye Depression. Its location is in the southwestern portion of Kazakhstan. It is 132 meters below sea level, located in a landlocked country that was a former satellite of the Soviet Union.
4. Qattara Depression, Egypt, -435 feet
Fourth place goes to the Qattara Depression in Egypt. It is 133 meters below sea level, and located in the Libyan Desert of Egypt. The area has some nomadic tribes who use it as herding ground.
3. Turpan Pendi, China, -505 feet
Ranking third is a unique place in China called Turpan Pendi. Located in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of western China, this depression is 154 meters below sea level. This is considered as the driest and hottest place in China.
2. Lake Assal, Djibouti, -509 feet
Our second spot belongs to Lake Assal in Djibouti, which is also the saltiest lake on earth. Located in the Afar Depression and at 155 meters below sea level, the lake has some of the driest and hottest weather on earth. Assal straddles the Indian, Arabian, and African tectonic plates.
1. Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan, -1360 feet
The title of the lowest place on earth goes to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, straddled by Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank, sits in the Jordan Valley depression that also encompasses the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. It also forms part of several countries' communities and some of their most important cultivated agricultural lands. Although rain and evaporation are constantly changing its level, some of its shoreline are still 413 meters below water level.
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