Some 423 meters (1388 feet) below sea level lies one of Mother Nature's most unique creations: The Dead Sea. Known as the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea region is home to unique climate and eco systems and is considered one of the world's top tourist destinations.
The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Assal in Djibouti, Africa; and it has been repeatedly nominated to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Lowest place on earth (Photo: EPA)
The salt concentration in the Dead Sea is 33.7%. to compete, the Mediterranean Sea has a salt concentration of 3.5%-3.9%. It is this high salt content that enables the unique floating experience enjoyed by those who take a dip in the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea is located at the deepest point in the Great Rift Valley, which extends from Syria to Mozambique.
The Great Rift Valley is the world's longest geographic phenomenon, stretching 4000 miles and crossing through 20 countries.
In the Middle East, the Dead Sea is considered the connecting point between the desert and inhabited land.
Tourism hotspot (Photo: AFP)
During the spring and autumn migration seasons, the Dead Sea is a resting stop for hundreds of species of birds that fly over the Great Rift Valley.
The Dead Sea is also home to dozens on species, including the Dead Sea Sparrow (Passer moabiticus) and the Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps), the social behavior of which led to the discovery of the handicap principle.
The Dead Sea region is also home to several industries, including potassium mining. Dead Sea brine allows Israel to produce potash, elemental bromine, caustic soda, magnesium metal, and sodium chloride.
Agriculture in the Dead Sea region makes up some 50% of the local economy.
The date palm is one of the oldest crops in the Dead Sea region. The region contains some 250 hectares (618 acres) of date palms.
Another Dead Sea region crop is basil, which also finds its way to Italian markets.
Some 80% of the agricultural output of the Dead Sea region is intended for export and meets European and international standards.