Asia is a continent of extremes. It hosts both the highest and the lowest elevations on land in the world. The 29,029 ft tall Mount Everest in Asia is the world's tallest mountain while the Dead Sea is the lowest elevation on land in the world. Here is a list of the lowest elevations in Asia:
The Jordan Valley is the valley of the Jordan River that stretches for a distance of 105 km from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The average width of the valley is 10 km. The Jordan Valley hosts some of the lowest points in Asia and is the world’s deepest valley. The elevation here ranges from 696 ft below sea level to 1,300 ft below sea level.
The surface of the Dead Sea is 1,412 ft below sea level. The Dead Sea is not connected to the oceans of the world despite having "sea" in its name but is actually a massive hypersaline lake. The salinity levels here are so high, nearly 9.6 times more saline than the ocean, that people do not sink into the sea but can float on it. Part of its name also comes from the fact that such high salinity levels cannot support any life form. Hence it is called the “Dead” Sea. The lake is part of the Jordan Rift Valley and the Jordan River that drains into this lake is its primary source of water. Due to its uniqueness and world records, the Dead Sea is a favored tourist destination of many. People flock to the Dead Sea from all parts of the world to capture photographs of themselves floating in the sea which has a maximum depth of 978 ft.
Jericho, a city in the Palestinian Territories, is famous for many reasons. With an elevation of 846 ft below sea-level, it is the lowest city in the world. The city also finds itself in the list of the world’s oldest cities. The city has an area of 58.701 square km and a population of 18,346. The city has a rich and long history and numerous archeological sites. Also, the nearness to the Dead Sea makes it a popular tourist destination. Although Jericho experiences a hot desert climate, the presence of numerous springs and the Jordan River nearby allows agriculture to thrive here.
Sharing the title of the lowest city in the world with Jericho, Beit She'an is an Israeli city that is strategically located both geographically and politically. The city is one of the oldest cities in the world and hosts several places of historical and archeological importance. A part of the ancient city is preserved within the confines of the Bet She'an National Park. Although Beit She'an experiences a desert climate, its location in an oasis near a spring allows agriculture to flourish here.
Sea of Galilee
The only freshwater lake with "sea" in its name, the Sea of Galilee occupies an area of 166.7 square km in Israel. It is the world’s lowest freshwater lake and one of the lowest points in Asia. The surface of the Sea of Galilee is at an elevation of about 702 ft below sea level. The average depth of the lake is 84 ft. The Jordan River and several underwater springs feed water into the lake.
The Israeli city of Tiberias is also located below sea level. It has an elevation of 679 ft below sea level. The city is located on the Sea of Galilee’s western shore. The city hosts a population of 43,148. Tiberias is considered one of the holiest cities of Judaism and hosts several sites associated with the religion. The city is thus visited by Jews from across the world.
Located 505 ft below sea level, the Turpan Depression is located in western China. It is close to the city of Turpan and is bounded by fault lines. According to some reports, the area of the Turpan Depression experiences the least rainfall and highest temperature in China.
Located several feet below sea level, the Caspian Depression is a flatland region that also includes the Caspian Sea’s northern part. The depression encompasses parts of Russia and Kazakhstan. The lowest elevations here include the Karagiye karst trench and the city of Agatu which are 433 ft below sea level. The Caspian Depression features an area of about 200,000 square km including vast marshlands in the east. The area is rich in oil and natural gas resources. Only 10% of the area is used for growing crops while livestock breeding is an important economic activity of the people living here.
The endorheic basin of the Caspian Sea is the largest body of water on Earth that is completely surrounded by land on all sides. It is part of the Caspian Depression and has an average surface elevation of 92 ft below sea level. The Caspian Sea has an area of 371,000 square km and an average depth of 690 ft.
Kuttanad in the Indian state of Kerala is among the places in Asia that are below sea level. The region is located 4 to 10 ft below sea level and hosts the lowest point in India and is one of the lowest elevations at which rice is cultivated.
The lowest point in Japan, the lake of Hachirōgata has a surface elevation of 13 ft below sea level. A large part of the lake has been reclaimed for cultivation in the past few decades. Fishing is an important economic activity of the people living in the lake area.
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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