It is the lowest body of water on Earth at 430 meters below sea level.
The Dead Sea is bordered by Israel and the West Bank to the west and Jordon to the east.
Dead Sea is shrinking about 3 feet (1 m) per year. In 50 years there might not be a Dead Sea.
It is has 10x more salt condensed than other bodies of water which is why we float.
On the Israel and West Bank side there were huge sink holes some up to 182 feet deep and 132 in diameter. As water recedes it fills up with freshwater and dissolves the salt which causes the sink holes. Whole communities have been devoured by sink holes and it gets worse every year. There’s no telling when or where a sink hole will form. There are over 4000 sink holes on the western side. There were signs posted all over restricting anyone from stopping due to the sink holes.
Things to know before you go.
Don’t shave right before you go. Shave at least 1 day or 2-3 days before you go. It will sting like nothing you have ever experienced if you have any razor burn.
Cover open wounds with waterproof tape as you will experience continuous stinging pain and you will know right away if you have an open wonder you might not know of. Even after getting out and washing with freshwater the stinging pain will still last for a little while.
Don’t stay in for more than 15 minutes. You can get out and go back in just rinse with fresh water before you get in.
Don’t splash, dive, or swimming under water as getting salt water in your eyes will burn.
Don’t take in any electronic devices like cameras or phones as it will damage them.
Wear flip flops or water shoes to protect your feet from the rocks and salt crystals.
Remove any jewelry, watches, earrings that are not gold or they will rust or sink to the bottom never to be seen again.
You need to shower/ rinse off with freshwater immediately after getting out of the water or the salt will make you dehydrated. You don’t need to wash with soap as you want the healing properties to still be active. Rinse out your bathing suit with soap along with flip flops, towels, extra or they will smell, stain your suit, and can make your suit stiff as one of our group found out.
Drink water afterward as you may get dehydrated after your swim.
I got to experience the Dead Sea from both the Israel side and the Jordan side and let me tell you they were 2 very different experiences.
First was the Israel side which was on a public beach. Most photos I’ve seen and I’m sure you have seen is the iconic still water with someone reading a paper. This is not what I experienced on the Israel side. It had been raining a little early in the day and the wind was around 10 miles an hour.
You change in a public bathroom and walk about 8 minutes to the beach. It was slippery rocks you had to navigate to get into the water and the waves were so strong you need to hold onto a rope to get out past the waves. We stayed out there for about 15 minutes. Getting out was a struggle and twice I got salt water in my eyes and boy does it burn!! You have to squeeze your eyes close and within a minute or two the pain goes away. Also since your fighting waves and slippery rocks just to get out of the water it made it not so enjoyable.
I did get to have one really cool experience after coming out of the water and showering. There was a little shop on the beach and they put Dead Sea Mud on my arm. This special mud also had oils in it. It could not be removed by wiping it or washing it off. You have to take it off by a magnet. Check out the video below.
The next day I was in Jordan and it was beautiful. No wind here and the sea was so calm. If your going to do the Dead Sea experience then go to the Marriott by the Dead Sea on the Jordan side. It’s a private beach and at one point there was just 2 of us floating around in the Dead Sea. I’m sure since it was the off season that was one of the reasons. They have towel and shoe service for free which comes with your room. Get the shoes as it’s a little rocky getting in. It’s about a 5-8 minutes walk to the beach but the have golf carts to rent or they will take you down and pick you back up. They run every 15 minutes. If you don’t want the beach experience go to the spa and soak in their Dead Sea pool which is free of charge.
They have Dead Sea mud you can put on at the beach.
We asked the towel attendant at the beach to take our picture and he must have taken about a 100 of us. There were cold and warm patches as you floated. Strangely it was hard to put both feet down at the same time on this side.
This was really such an amazing experience to be able to lay on your back and cross your legs as you float along on such calm water.