The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a saltwater lake in eastern Israel. Every year, tourists flock to the lake, as its high salt content makes swimmers extremely buoyant and its waters are known for their curative properties.
The Dead Sea contains some of the saltiest water on Earth. As much as 35 percent of its water is dissolved salt.
The lake's surface is more than 1,300 feet below sea level. Its deepest area is more than 2,300 feet below sea level. Completely landlocked, the lake becomes saltier with increasing depth.
No fish or sea creatures live in the Dead Sea, but several types of bacteria and one type of algae thrive in its salt-infused waters.
Scientists at the The Dead Sea Research Center in Negev, Israel, have proven that the Dead Sea's waters contain properties that can help treat a variety of illnesses, including skin diseases, rheumatism, cystic fibrosis and asthma.
Sinkholes often appear around the Dead Sea. In April 2009, a hiker was critically injured when he fell into one of these holes. Many areas have warning signs, but some do not.