Dead Sea Swimming

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The popular wisdom is that no one can drown in the Dead Sea because they’ll float on the super-salty waters. That’s wrong, but it’s true that drownings in the Dead Sea are different from drowning deaths in ordinary waters.

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The Dead Sea straddles the border of Israel and Jordan. Although the name ‘Dead Sea’ doesn’t promise a good time, it’s a fairly popular tourist destination. The concentrated saline is said to be a cure for a number of health conditions, and resorts and medical facilities crowd around the sea’s edge. Tourists are encouraged to swim in its waters. There’s no fear of sharks. Almost nothing lives in the water. The Dead Sea is landlocked and in the lowest valley on earth. All the minerals of the surrounding countryside get washed into one pool, which in turn gets baked by the sun. This concentrates the salts so much that the Dead Sea is 10 times as salty as the ocean.