Why Do You Float in the Dead Sea?

float-dead-sea Credit: Dan Dalton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Thanks to its extremely high salinity, the Dead Sea makes the human body highly buoyant. With its salt content as high as 35 percent, the sea is 10 times as salty as the average ocean. This high density compared to the average mass of a human being makes for the ideal conditions for floating effortlessly.

The Jordan River is the sole source of water feeding into the Dead Sea, which has no outlet. As the water evaporates, which occurs quickly thanks to high temperatures in the region, minerals are left.

In fact, many people visit the Dead Sea for its therapeutic mud and salt water. A number of people suffering from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as arthritis have claimed to experience relief after spending time in the sea.

The salt concentration of the Dead Sea is so high that salt crystals coat rocks surrounding the water, making them appear, in certain light, to be blanketed in snow. Accumulations of salt crystals are visible in the form of so-called pillars throughout the sea. Some say the Old Testament story of Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt is based on a real pillar bearing a resemblance to the female human form.