Some photographs courtesy of: Nir Ben-Yosef :: xnir.com
**Do not use any of his images without written permission. Not for commercial use.
The Dead Sea (Hebrew: יָם הַמֶּלַח, Yām Ha-Melaḥ, "Sea of Salt"; Arabic: البَحْر المَيّت, al-Baḥr El-Mayyit, "Dead Sea") is a salt lake in Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 422 metres (1,385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land.
The Dead Sea is 378 m (1,240 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity. which is 8.6 times as salty as the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point.
The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, creating pools and quicksand pits along the edges. There are no outlet streams.
Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm (4 in) per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and barely 50 mm (2 in) in the southern part.
The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rainshadow effect of the Judean Hills. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself.
To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judean Hills rise less steeply, and are much lower, than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m (700 ft) tall halite formation called "Mount Sodom".