Where Did the Dead Sea Get Its Name?


Quick Answer

The Dead Sea has such a high concentration of salt that few forms of life are able to live in it, which is why it is called “dead.” Only microbes are able to survive its intense salinity.

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Where Did the Dead Sea Get Its Name?
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Full Answer

This sea also has other names, such as the Plains Sea and the Salt Sea. Water in the Dead Sea has a density of 1.240 kilograms per liter, much denser than normal bodies of salt water. This density is high enough that it is possible for a person to float very easily in the water. It is so easy that people appear to sink into the water very little. The high salinity makes the water more than eight times as dense as common salt levels in our oceans.

The Jordan River is the main source that fills the Dead Sea, which is completely landlocked. This means that any water flowing into it is trapped until it evaporates. The area is also very hot, so evaporation occurs quickly. Salty minerals in the tributary water that flows into the sea are left behind after evaporation. This pushes the concentration of salt in the landlocked body of water higher and higher. When introduced to the sea, life forms that are more complex than microbes die almost immediately. There are actually 35 different types of mineral salts in the Dead Sea, including magnesium, iodine, potassium and bromine. All of these salts in combination are deadly to life.

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