People might come to ask why it is called the Dead Sea when it appears to be much alive, dazzling and sunny, with beautiful clear and clean waters. The Dead Sea which is situated 15 miles East of Jerusalem between Israel and Jordan, is on the lowest part of the earth and the 2nd saltiest sea in the world where no living animals or plants thrive. The Dead Sea is in fact a lake but unlike most lakes, it is filled with salt water.
This lake came into form 2 million years ago and maintains the same purity of its waters up to the present time. The weather in this place is hot, sunny and dry all year-round and has a fresh environment away from pollution.
The waters of the Dead Sea are miraculously used for health and well-being. The high volume of minerals that are beneficial to human health such as potassium, sulfur, calcium, bromine, collagen and many others are used to cleanse, heal and enable the body cells to discard unwanted toxins. Even the mud which is mineral-filled from the Dead Sea offers a kind of treatment in the body called Balneotherapy.
From the ancient times till now, many people have come to the Dead Sea to enjoy its salty waters rich in minerals for healing and soaking purposes. History tells that Cleopatra liked the Dead Sea intensely and realizing the cosmetic benefits of its waters, she initiated building-up of cosmetic factories along its shores.
King Herod also saw that the site was good for a wonderful retreat so, he built several fortresses and palaces along its shores on the West. The elements available in the area were used by the Egyptians to embalm and mummify the bodies of the dead. The Dead Sea was in the home of Lot as mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures and Islamic books.
According to the Bible, Lot’s tribe has indulged in homosexual activities which were forbidden by God so, it is said that it rained with sulfur all over the place turning all the dwellers into bodies of salt, including Lot’s wife who failed to heed the advise of the angels not to look back, but sparing Lot.
The Dead Sea has also a great historical significance to Jesus and John the Baptist who wandered in its surrounding areas. The Bible mentions that the sea was prophesied to be habitable with fish and plant life one day. An ancient community called the Essenes also settled in the Dead Sea and their writings were discovered contained in 2 jars which were given the name Dead Sea Scrolls.
The historical place attracted Greek Orthodox monks to build monasteries for worshippers and pilgrims. For thousands of years, Bedouins have also dwelt in the area and became the natives of the land.
Today, the Dead Sea area is filled with golf courses, retreats, spas and resorts. Tourists from all over the world visit the scenic beauty of the sea and its natural surroundings to swim, soak and feel the healing effects of this phenomenal body of water.