Asia, Dead Sea

Status: Done

May 2011

The shoreline of the Dead Sea is the lowest dry point on the surface of the Earth. Israel, Jordan and Palestine all border the Dead Sea and all share the Dead Sea as their low point.

Trip Report

My 2010 Summer trip was going to take me to 7 countries with Israel and Jordan amongst them. Too nice an opportunity to pass up to go and stand at the lowest point on the surface of the Earth: the Dead Sea Shore. My time in Jordan was limited to 3 days, so in Israel it was.

Friends of mine have family in Rishon-Lezion, a suburb of Tel Aviv. On August 3, 2010 they pick me up at my hotel in Jerusalem and took me on a day trip to the Dead Sea and Masada. We took route 1 out of Jerusalem to route 90, which runs along the shore of the Dead Sea. After a visit to Masada we spent the rest of the afternoon at Ein Gedi Spa. Since I didn’t have that much time, I didn’t care about the mud and sulphur baths; I simply wanted to spend my time at and in the Dead Sea. After all it is not every day that one finds oneself on the lowest point on Earth! Funnily enough this was the same day Stephen stood on the highest point in Europe, Mt Elbrus.

I enjoyed wading in the very warm water, wearing sandals mind you; the crystalized salt on the sea bed will undoubtedly give you nasty cuts; and was happy to discover that I didn’t have any tiny cuts or wounds anywhere on my body; those would have made for an uncomfortable first few minutes in the very salty water. After wading to a depth of about 1 meter (3ft) it was just about impossible not to float! Very funny! My feet simply kinda got pushed up. The trick was to stay level so as to not get any water in your eyes; that again would not have been funny. There were sun covers at about that depth, and they also had fresh water taps, just in case the latter did happen – very thoughtful. I got the hang of floating pretty quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I didn’t stay in the water too long simply because it was very warm water, and I mean very warm.

Elevation of the Dead Sea

The elevation of the Dead Sea is constantly changing. considers the elevation to be 422 m (or 1,385 ft) below sea level.

The elevation of the Dead Sea is constantly changing. Therefore the lowest point on the surface of the earth is also changing. The picture below shows these changes over time, and the red line clearly indicates that the water level is dropping at the rate of about 1 m per year. will use the elevation of 423 m (or 1,388 ft) below sea level as the nominal elevation.