World Facts

Why Is The Dead Sea Called The Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea goes by several names.

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The Dead Sea is a landlocked saline lake located in the Jordan Valley. It is situated at the lowest point on the planet at 1,412 ft below sea level. The Dead Sea has a surface area of about 234sq miles with an 84-miles long shoreline and a capacity of about 27ce miles. It is surrounded by West Bank, Jordan, and Israel. It is the world’s deepest salt lake with a maximum depth of about 997ft. The Dead Sea has different names in numerous languages all reflective of its unique features.

Names of the Dead Sea

Over the years the sea has been known by various names including the Devil’s Sea, Asphalt Sea, Sea of Lot, and Primordial Sea among others. The earliest known name of this lake was recorded in the Bible. It is known as the Salt Sea in the Hebrew Scripture because of its significant high salt concentration. Even though it was known as the Salt Sea during the Roman era, most people who visited Judea referred to it as the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is referred to as the Plains Sea in the book of Joshua.

The majority of the Dead Sea's names are due to its high salt content. The Dead Sea is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean water. Its high salinity makes it impossible for macroscopic aquatic creatures like aquatic plants and fishes to survive in the Dead Sea. There are small quantities of microbial fungi and bacteria living in the lake.

Why Is The Dead Sea So Salty?

The Salt Sea serves as the terminus for rain and surface water in the region. It has no outlet stream; therefore, the water that flows into the Dead Sea is trapped. The water in the lake has been evaporating leaving minerals, particularly sodium, magnesium and chloride ions which accumulate to form salt. These ions originate from rocks which are dissolved by the acids in the runoff water that flows into the Dead Sea. Since the salinity of the salt lake increases with depth, the water near the bottom is highly saturated; therefore salt precipitates onto the floor of the Dead Sea.

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