THE DYING SEA The Dead Sea is a unique body of water in the Middle East.

This stretch of water is about 77 kilometres long and between five and eighteen kilometers wide. It is the lowest area of water in the world-yes, the lowest! In the olden days, the Arabs and Hebrews referred to the Dead Sea as the Salt Sea or Stinking Sea. The reason for this is its high salt content. The Dead Sea is about six times as salty as the ocean. A man swimming in this sea will float at all times with his head and shoulders above water. This is because the density of the water is much higher than even that of the ocean. If you drink the water from the Dead Sea, it will make you sick because of the magnesium chloride present in it. The water also has a smooth, oily feeling as it contains large amounts of calcium chloride. Apart from this, there are about two million tones of potash in the water. This potash is valuable in making artificial fertilizer. The potash also makes the water sink. On the plus side, the high salt content in the Dead Sea, according to some people, helps heal skin and muscle problems. What makes the Dead Sea so salty? The explanation is simple. The River Jordan and a few small streams flow into the Dead Sea. However, no rivers flow out of this sea. The excess water evaporates as water vapour, and a large amount of minerals is left behind in the water. No fish can live in the Dead Sea. The River Jordan, flowing into it, brings along a variety of fish. However, the fish cannot survive because of the high salt content of the water. They die become food for the sea birds or lie rotting along the shores.

Fazianie Nasyimah Latip. Jobell Tiong. Nur Jima Abdul Ghaffar. Nur Rifah Syahirah Sharum. Nur Syahirah Irwani. EST_7 April 2008

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