The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, lying 431 meters below sea level. This unique location has created an extraordinary environment. The Dead Sea water is nearly 10 times more salty than the ocean, and it is this that creates the incredible buoyancy, meaning visitors can float on the surface. The water and mud are also rich in minerals, and the area has long been used as a health retreat.
The low elevation also results in increased atmospheric pressure which means the area has slightly higher oxygen levels and weaker ultraviolet radiation (UV rays), which both contribute towards the Dead Sea's health benefits.
The Dead Sea is also an important area in terms of religious history. Both the Bible and the Quran reference the Dead Sea, and it is believed that the city of Sodom once stood on the shores. Bethany, the baptismal site of Jesus, lies to the north of the sea on the banks of the River Jordan. Mount Nebo stands to the west, and it is believed that this was where Moses was shown the Promised Land. A little further west is the town of Madaba, which is home to a historical mosaic that was created in AD 560 and depicts the key areas of Middle East.