Some 200 ibex at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve could lose key grazing ground if land is fenced off to safeguard people
The Dead Sea (in Hebrew, Yam Hamelach or Salt Sea) is an endorheic lake - 67 kilometers long, 18 kilometers at its widest - along the Jordan Rift Valley and bordered by the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan.
With 33.7% water salinity, the Dead Sea is the planet’s second saltiest body of water and, with the exception of certain types of halophilic archaebacteria and fungi, barren of life. The Dead Sea’s shores are 420 meters below sea level, making it the lowest place on the planet’s exterior, and its deepest point is 800 meters below sea level, making the Dead Sea the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. The Jordan River is the main source of water for the Dead Sea.
A leading tourist attraction and a major source of potassium, bromine and magnesium, the Dead Sea is of great economic importance to Israel and Jordan. Visitors to the Dead Sea traditionally cover themselves in the mud found at the water's edge, believed to have therapeutic properties due to its high concentration of minerals. The salinity of the water also creates a buoyancy effect, with bathers able to float on the sea's surface.
Throughout history the Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin, and its minerals have been tapped to produce a variety of products, ranging from cosmetics and herbal sachets to mummification balms and potash for fertilizer.
Ein Gedi may become Israel’s first settlement to succumb to environmental degradation. ‘I don’t know of any other community living under such threats,’ says one anxious resident
Scientists find evidence of severe droughts in dry periods between two ice ages, warn of local ramifications of global warming.
Two new projects seek to stop the dramatic drop in water levels at the world's lowest point.
The Dead Sea toothcarp, a rare species of fish found nowhere else in the world, is in trouble.
Wearing protective snorkels, swimmers from around the world made their way from Jordan to Israel, across one of the earth's saltiest bodies of water.
Its water level drops a meter every year, but there’s still no plan to stop Israel’s greatest environmental disaster.
With new exhibition opening in Tel Aviv, famed American artist, who photographed nude volunteers alongside sinkholes at Mineral Beach over weekend, spoke of his special bond with Dead Sea.
Desalination has eased the water shortage, but continued drought, over-pumping and the needs of a growing population are playing havoc with the country’s ecology.