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Discovery Magazine 6/1/2001

The Dead Sea

There is a good reason why your father or mother never has taken you fishing in the Dead Sea-no fish live there. The fish carried into the Dead Sea by the Jordan River die as soon as they enter the salty water. Not even mussels and corals are found in it.

About 6.5 million tons of water flow into the Dead Sea every 24 hours. However, no water flows out of it because it is a "closed basin." This means that the water has no way out, unless it evaporates. Evaporation (E-VAP-UH­ RA.-SHUN) occurs when water turns into a vapor that rises into the air. In and around the Dead Sea the temperature is hot (reaching nearly 110 degrees in the summertime), and the air is dry. This causes the water to evaporate quickly. In fact, the rate of evaporation is so great that the inflow of water serves only to keep the sea level constant.

Because of the extraordinary  evaporation rate caused by the intense heat of the area, the water left in the sea contains 24.6 percent of solid substance (mineral salts), which makes the Dead Sea one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Such concentrated amounts of chemical deposits give the Dead Sea its buoyancy (BOY-EN-SEE). This simply means that you can drift in the Dead Sea without help from any kind of floatation devices.

Unlike the Dead Sea that destroys life and provides no refreshment for the thirsty, Jesus offers spiritual water that gives eternal life to all who will accept it (read John 4:13-14 and Revelation 22:17).



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