Dead Sea facts

Here are some Dead Sea facts one should know before traveling to Jordan.

There are a few more locations (besides Petra) that are extremely interesting to visitors to this Middle Eastern country. One of them is the Dead Sea. This unique sea stretches between Israel and Jordan, and I just couldn’t wait to see it.

The Dead Sea shore

Dead Sea Facts

Hotels and spa centers are rising up on its shores since the sea mud has so many health and beauty benefits. There are many cosmetic products to choose from here, either for facial treatments or the skin in general. You will be recommended to try masks and lotions that result in detoxifying and therapeutic effects. When it comes to the Dead Sea facts, they say that its mud is rich in minerals that can also help with healing skin disorders.

DEAD SEA FACTS: The beach area

Floating around

So, don’t be surprised when you stumble across a specific scenery here. There will be a lot of tourists who tirelessly smudge themselves with mud, then sit in the sun for a while and when they cannot take the heat any longer, they plunge into the sea and just stay there – floating.

Swimming pool in one of the hotels

As for all those things you might have heard regarding swimming here, as another one of the Dead Sea facts โ€“ it’s true. It’s a bit tricky to get in, because your legs are falling deep into that (therapeutic) mud, so the best option is to jump right in.

There’s no way to sink anyway due to the salt level (one of the Dead Sea facts is that it has the highest level of salt in the world), and you will feel like a buoy. Once you are in, don’t even bother to try to straighten up or reach the bottom, because the water is constantly pushing you up. It’s almost impossible to do breaststroke swimming since your legs and behind will just keep surfacing up with every move you make. All you can do is lay back and pretend to be – a buoy. It’s useless to wiggle.

And one more thing โ€“ try to keep the water out of your eyes or you might end up crying for a few minutes.

Scarce yet lovely flowers

I should probably mention that before we reached the Dead Sea, I have heard a lot of those stories about how the water “burns like hell”, how they “wouldn’t advise you to go in”, “too much salt, who knows”, etc. Forget about that!

If it wasn’t healthy, people wouldn’t come here for health treatments. The only “burning” sensation you might have would be if you previously scratched your skin or have mosquito bites. And believe me, that floating feeling is hard to beat. Where else would you totally lose control over your body and limbs to something which also has healing properties? And wouldn’t it be a huge pity to come all the way to the Dead Sea in the Middle East, one of a kind in the whole world, and not to plunge in?

Dead Sea Facts
The salty edge on the rocks

The disappearing lake

The Dead Sea is a Middle Eastern lake, but it was always referred to as the sea. It’s so salty that there is no life here. There are only a few bacteria that can survive these conditions. It is 9 times saltier than any other sea in the world.

The Dead Sea stretches for 70 kilometers in length while it is less than 20 kilometers wide and 300 meters deep. The River Jordan flows into this sea.

DEAD SEA FACTS: Crystals rich in minerals*

It’s famous for being at the bottom of a natural depression that reaches almost 400 meters below sea level.

DEAD SEA FACTS: The saltiest sea in the world*

I remember reading a few Israeli government warnings that the Dead Sea was losing its water level rapidly and that it’s almost 1,2 meters lower every year. This happens due to the water consumption by both countries from the Sea of Galilee and the River Jordan. They are actually redirecting 90 percent of the river. Environmental organizations have been stating for more than a decade that the Dead Sea would totally disappear in 50 years if Israel and Jordan don’t change their policy.

Range of mountain colors

As mere tourists, we cannot change the situation, but we can at least let people know about it. Because once you get to the Dead Sea it’s really hard to believe that it might disappear.

Camels marching in the desert

Herd of camels

Going around the Dead Sea, you will be amazed by the white crystals on its shores. There is a nice mist floating above the surface and another shore to be discerned in the distance, the Israeli one.

A dry land along the way

Speaking of water and looking out of your window on the way to the Gulf of Aqaba, it’s easy to see that is what Jordan lacks. The country even imports water from neighboring countries. Still, the landscape outside is pretty spectacular for someone coming from Europe.

The sand was still yellowish

There are only mountain peaks and deserts to be seen along the road. The color of the mountain rocks goes from yellow to black. I was going from one side of the bus to the other to admire the view. And then you spot a few animals in the wild โ€“ a herd of camels marching by through the sand and over these small yellow dunes.

Even the color of the sand changes due to the stone it came from, they say. It slowly becomes pink.

A view of Wadi Rum from the road

When devices go crazy

There is another natural phenomenon not far from Petra. This is the famous Wadi Rum area with beautiful rocks peeking out of the bright or dark rose-colored sand. Wadi Rum became famous due to the movie about Lawrence of Arabia which was filmed here. This desert is also known as the Desert of The Moon or the Red Planet.

The so-called Red Planet*

What’s interesting about it is the special composition of the rock itself that makes all the electronic equipment go crazy. Once you enter the valley, your mobile phone will stop working. They say that even planes avoid flying over Wadi Rum because their instruments go wild.

Camels in Wadi Rum*

Anyway, if you are into sleeping in the desert, under the most beautiful starry night sky, you should book a night at the Bedouin camp. And then wait for the sunrise and another breathtaking view.

The breathtaking sunrise in the desert*

The real Bedouins

On your way through Jordan, you will notice a few authentic Bedouin tents in the desert. They are long with traditional colors and they seem to pop up on small hills not very far from the road. They say that the tent costs about 15,000 Euros. Bedouins are considered wealthy, they are usually into cattle and pretty famous for breeding horses.

A bedouin tent by the road

There is a story I found extremely interesting. I was told about a Bedouin who bought a large house in the capital Amman. He spent a lot of money to create a great home for his family. And, in that vast, nicely settled courtyard of the house, the man has put up – his Bedouin tent, where he continued to sleep.

Overlooking the valley

After so many stories about the desert tribes, I wasn’t surprised to hear about the Bedouin Law that is still valid here. Although Jordan is considered a modern Arab country with public laws like anywhere else in the world, there are still certain traditional rules that remain extremely strong. The state often allows punishments given according to this “alternative” law.

*by Pixabay


The full Jordan SERIES


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33 responses

  1. Your photos have really captured the landscape around the Dead Sea. I have been to Israel but missed out on a trip here so when I do Jordan soon, I am including this. I so want to get out there now. Fantastic read.

    1. Maybe it’s even better to visit the Jordanian side, since the Dead Sea here will be on your way going around the country. I’m sure you’ll fly to Amman, the capital, and then go south towards Petra. Hence it’s on the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      By the way, I’m sure Claire would love some cosmetic products with the Dead Sea minerals, so be prepared when coming here. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thanks, Danik!

  2. Wow, I see many posts about the Dead Sea, but I never read any about the Wadi Rum before! Amazing that the rocks themselves can stop electronics from working properly. I also never read before that the Dead Sea is disappearing – I needs to book me a ticket before it goes if that is true! Thanks for teaching me some new things today ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. So glad that you’ve found something new in the post to read and learn about, thank you for pointing that out. ๐Ÿ™‚
      And yes, I was also sceptical regarding the issue of the Dead Sea disappearing in such a short while. But to tell you the truth, when I’ve seen how shallow the river Jordan got, it got me worried. Still, I do hope that the future of the Sea is not as gloomy as these prognosis.

  3. There are some interesting facts about the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. I would never have know that you wouldnโ€™t be able to walk in it, or even swim. I have to floating in it does sound the best way to relax, and take in its health bemifits. It sounds strange how it affects the electronics and that even planes wonโ€™t fly over it, but I can see why.

  4. Petra has been on my list of cities to visit in Jordan. I love all your pictures as it shows the natural beauty of the city. This is the first I’ve heard negatively about swimming in the Dead Sea. Wow! It is that salty? I definitely like the buoyancy of it, but I would probably be hesitant about going in. It is so sad what we are doing to our climinate. A natural resource is slowly disappearing.

    1. It’s not negative, it’s just one of the facts – it is very salty. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s no reason to hesitate, of course you’ll go into the Sea. I would love to hear your impressions afterwards. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Wadi Rum looks incredible! I had no idea that electrical equipment goes nuts there! It reminds me of the time my mother’s camera flat out died at Stonehenge, but then it magically worked again once we left the area! It was SO freaky!

    The Dead Sea is beautiful. I love your photos.

  6. Dead sea is receding? You have got me worried. I hope I can make it there soon.
    I wasn’t aware of the the technical malfunctioning over Wadi Rum. Very strange. Great post.

  7. This is great because I was just doing some research on the area not too long ago. I would love to do a spa treatment or something there. I have a few products that were made in Jordan that I have been using. I didn’t know you could become a floating device in the Dead Sea. That is pretty cool!

    1. Well, if you want to get into the sea, you’d have to become a floating device, there’s no other way! ๐Ÿ˜€
      And you’d love their cosmetic products here. I bought few facial masks and body scrubs, they were great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Swimming in a sea without being able to sink. How cool is that?! I’d definitely want to go to the Dead Sea someday! And Wadi Rum has always been on my bucket list since I’ve watched Lawrence of Arabia. To be honest, it’s actually a good thing that mobile phones don’t work there… for once we could stay unreachable and be free!! lol

  9. I’ve heard a lot of travel experiences from Jordan, and your article gives me the tingles to go! I love your photos and thanks for sharing the story about when devices “go crazy” in Wadi Rum. I thought that was super interesting.

  10. I hadn’t heard that the Dead Sea was so at risk before. It would be so devastating to lose such an incredible piece of nature. I’m hopeful that changes can be made to save this precious monument.

  11. Thank you for the wonderful insight! I want to travel to Jordan hopefully next year and this is certainly somewhere I would like to spend some time. Thank you for your recommendations I will have to include these activities and locations into the trip.

    1. It’s just the right time for this Jordan series then! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are welcome to browse around the blog, since there will be seven posts in total from this interesting country.
      Would love to hear your impressions when you come back! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I have always wanted to visit Jordan. Itโ€™s like north of where Iโ€™m from. I love your description of swimming in the Dead Sea. Iโ€™ve always wondered what that feels like! This a lovely informative post. Thank you!

  13. I’ve always been intrigued by visiting the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum, but haven’t made the trip yet. I really enjoyed your descriptions of these amazing places! I’m excited to see them all over again ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. ‘ If it wasnโ€™t healthy, people wouldnโ€™t come here for health treatments. ‘ that made me chuckle thanks for the reassurance – should be a fun experience

  15. I have always been fascinatedby the Dead Sea. Have read about it a lot in Geography and Physics classes in school. This has always fueled my curiosity to see the dead sea and float on its waters. Hope to get there someday. I also loved the story of the man who put up a bedouin tent in his brand new house.

  16. Jordan is a great country to visit! Would love to go back there at least once more, especially because I didn’t have time to visit the capital and some other places I really wanted to see ๐Ÿ™
    But I loved the time I spent there of course…
    If you’d like to see some of the photos we took at Wadi Rum: We wanted to stay there overnight to experience the tents and bedouin life, but it was winter time, so we decided not to ๐Ÿ™‚ Good decision, eh?

    1. Yes, it gets extremely cold in Wadi Rum during night. Well, it’s just another thing to tick off your bucket list when you go again, right. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Clicked through to see your photos, beautiful!

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