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10 Dead Sea Facts To Remember For This Travel Tuesday

12/10/2013 06:35 EST | Updated 12/11/2013 11:53 EST
Elan Fleisher via Getty Images

The Dead Sea may sound like something out of a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie but the reality is quite the opposite.

It's actually not a sea, nor is it really dead. But what it lacks in an accurate name it makes up with a couple of nifty facts, facts worthy of making it your #TravelTuesday destination for the week.

  • What's In A Name?
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    So it turns out the Dead Sea is neither dead nor a sea. It's actually a lake sandwiched between Israel and Jordan. As for the "dead" part, early settlers named it for its lack of aquatic life, but microbiologists recently discovered "thick mats of bacteria" living at the bottom of the sea, er... lake in 2010.
  • Hold The Salt, Please
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ Huffington Post Canada Travel
    When you think about salt water, you tend to think about the sea. Seawater typically clocks in at around 3.5 per cent salinity. The Dead Sea's salinity averages between 33.7 to 35 per cent -- nearly ten times higher than the norm, making it one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.
  • How Low Can You Go?
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    It may not be the saltiest body of water but it is the lowest point on dry land, located 423 metres below sea level.
  • End Of The Line
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    Thanks to its landlocked location and low elevation, water can only flow into the Dead Sea, never out. The sea's main source of water comes from the Jordan River and receives very little rainfall.
  • Float On
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    Chances are you've seen plenty of people reading papers while hanging out in the Dead Sea. The water's saltiness makes it denser than the human body allowing everyone to float no matter what your body type. Just don't bring your tablet. It may float but it doesn't mean it's water-proof.
  • Feel The Burn, Or Don't
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ Huffington Post Canada Travel
    All that salt does wonders for people who struggle to float but it leaves a nasty sting on freshly-shaven areas. If those hairy places on your body must be trimmed, shave at least two days in advance before hitting the sea.
  • What's That Funky Smell?
    Getty
    Okay, this has less to do with the Dead Sea and more about driving to the Dead Sea. On your way there you might get a strong whiff of rotten eggs. That would be the sulphur from nearby hot springs that dot the sides of the road leading towards the Dead Sea.
  • That Healing Touch
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    While many people come to the Dead Sea for the novelty of floating around, others come seeking help. It's said that the salty waters and mineral-mud work wonders for people with skin conditions or sore joints.
  • Colour Me Impressed!
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    Ask someone what colour the Dead Sea is and you'll get a variety of answers. That's because the colour of the water changes based on the elevation of the sun. Depending on where you are and the time of day, the sea could take on teal, azure, blue, green, aqua or even pink tones.
  • Rock Those Crocs
    Brian Vinh Tien Trinh/ The Huffington Post
    The nearby proximity of beauty hotels means there are plenty of people dressed in nothing but bathrobes and swimsuits. But you'll also want to pack a pair of Crocs as the shores of the Dead Sea are littered with sharp, jagged pieces of salt-crusted rocks.

So there you have it: what sounds like the nickname for a watery grave is actually a salty lake with beautifying and healing properties. Where do you want to spend your next #TravelTuesday? Let us know in the comments below.

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Brian Vinh Tien Trinh is Huffington Post Canada's Travel Editor. His trip to Israel was sponsored by Israel's Ministry of Tourism.

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