The Dead Sea is an iconic Israeli location, so floating in the Dead Sea needs to be at the top of every visitor’s bucket list. In reality, the Dead Sea is not a sea at all! It is a lake fed by the Jordan River and is surrounded by Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. Known in Hebrew as Yam Ha-Melakh (the Sea of Salt), it is one of the world’s most unique natural wonders.
The Dead Sea is located at the lowest elevation on land on Earth at 430.5 meters below sea level. With a depth of 304 meters, it is also the deepest hypersaline lake and the fifth saltiest body of water in the world at 34.2% salinity; that’s eight times saltier than the ocean! Due to all that salt, plants and animals can’t survive in this environment; hence, it is called the Dead Sea.
Why Do You Float in the Dead Sea?
When visiting the Dead Sea, you can’t just look at it; you must go in. Swimming in the Dead Sea is impossible due to the extreme salinity; you will only be able to float. How does floating in the Dead Seas work? It is all about density. The easiest way to think about it is how your body’s density compares to water. In freshwater, your body is denser than the water, so you sink. In the ocean, the saltwater is a bit denser (although still not as dense as our bodies), so it makes it easier for us to float, but we still have to work at it. But in the Dead Sea, the high salt concentration, eight times more than the ocean, makes the water denser than us! Therefore, because the water is denser than us, it makes us buoyant and forces us to float!
To get up close and get to go floating in the Dead Sea, you are going to have to hit one of the beaches. Ein Gedi Beach, Ein Bokek Beach, Kalia Beach, Biankini Beach, and Neve Midbar Beach are the most popular to visit due to their individual characteristics. Moreover, Ein Gedi is a free public beach with the highest quantity of the famous Dead Sea mud; whereas Ein Bokek is usually a more crowded tourist hotspot due to the nearby hotels. Kalia and Biankini are suitable for all types of visitors, with restaurants and bars available; although Biankini has a more Moroccan vibe. Neve Midbar is a bit more out of the way, which is ideal if you are looking for a relaxing afternoon. While visiting the Dead Sea, you can also explore Ein Gedi National Park and Masada. Masada is particularly stunning to see at sunrise!