Unsinkable Jordan

Over 400m below sea level, the Dead Sea was one of the most surprising, unique Dead Seaexperiences on my Jordan journey. Coming from someone who has grown up in the ocean and spent as much of my waking childhood hours in the water as out of it, I was completely shocked by my Dead Sea submersion… or attempted submersion since technically I couldn’t completely submerge myself in the Dead Sea. 

The largest natural spa in the world, and the lowest point on the face of the earth, the Dead Sea receives a number of incoming rivers, including River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea, they are landlocked and have nowhere to go so they evaporate, leaving behind salts and minerals.

Dead Sea

8.6 times saltier than the ocean, it’s impossible to sink in the Dead Sea. I had known this fact before entering the sea, but I didn’t grasp the full concept. I was shocked by what happened when I dropped myself into the water. It was more like sitting in Jell-O (not the texture, but the buoyancy). I sat upright and gained my balance; my entire upper half was out of the water. It was totally bizarre. Forget trying to swim; it is definitely a float kind of place.

Dead Sea

Equally shocking was how much it hurt. I’ve heard the saying, “like putting salt on a wound”  but now I can say it with more conviction. Jordan is in my top five countries in the world to visit but its beautiful surroundings and diverse landscapes were hard on me. I entered the Dead Sea with more scrapes and cuts than a Crash Test Dummy. It may have been helping me heal but the accelerated rate was too much for me. I followed the 20 minute time suggestion because I just couldn’t stand any more “healing”.

Dead SeaWe tested the waters by trying different positions and laughed at how everyone looked like they were sitting on a water noodle. Although all of the pictures look like people are sitting on sand or only knee deep, we are actually over our heads. While it is tempting to try and duck your head in the water, I heed a warning – if you think it burns your skin, wait until you get it in your mouth or eyes! Take my word for it and avoid eye or mouth contact.

Jordan is filled with new adventures around every corner but for the first time in my life, I didn’t have that familiar feeling when I reached the waters. Others were most fascinated with Petra, Wadi Rum, or Amman but the Dead Sea held the greatest allure for me.

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75 thoughts on “Unsinkable Jordan

  1. The Dead Sea was one of my very favorite things in Israel too! I could not get over the buoyancy! I could stand in deep water and pedal! Loved it! Before going it, it’s critical to know: Don’t shave or wax for several days before. Don’t have any open cuts. Do NOT dive in, it burns your eyes like nothing you can imagine. Do not ingest it. It is beyond amazing!

    Love your photos… I’m dying to return to Israel, and now Jordan is way up the list too! Thanks for sharing Lesley.

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  2. My grandmother visited the Dead Sea. I remember her talking about the buoyancy and giggling. I can picture a bunch of giggling people bobbing up and down;)

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  3. Leslie, you know already how much I love, love, LOVE this post and these photos!!!!! When I “floated” in the Dead Sea in February, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel, it was the most fascinating and exciting hour of my life. Yes, I stayed in the Dead Sea for an hour. I looked like a black prune …. literally!!!! Fortunately, I didn’t have any cuts or scrapes and I avoided all contact around my eyes and mouth. I did, however, rub that glorious black mud all over my face and body. I swear I looked like I was 5. HAHAHA I’m loving all of your posts from your trip to Jordan, thank you so much for sharing your trip and wonderful experience. My friend and hair salon owner is Jordanian and his family is going this summer. I’ve teased to hide in his luggage! Big hugs, friend, and thanks again for sharing this AMAZING trip. Ahhh, I cannot wait to return to the Dead Sea. =)

    http://nicoleandkevin.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/touring-the-holy-land/
    http://nicoleandkevin.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/sababa/

    Blessings + Hugs,
    Nicole

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  4. Wow The Dead Sea sounds amazing 🙂 I really wanna go to Jordan, what’s it like? people, prices? etc best time to go? best places to visit? I’m a curious monkey >.<

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  5. We have a bit of a joke in my family, my grandma can’t float in sea water or in pool water, so we laugh that she would be the exception to the dead sea stories and she would sink.

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  6. I remember going there when I was only 9 years old, it was uncanny how the dead see makes you flow, my older siblings were messing with me by saying that the souls of the people who died there are the ones who are trying to save us by keeping us flow up… Which is why they call it the Dead Sea. Though I know the reason why they call it that at the time (too much salt, dead fish) I liked their version.
    Petra was another magical place.
    I hope you have a wonderful time. 🙂

    ~ A. H. Amin

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  7. You’re right about the stinging! When I went in, I’d cut myself shaving that morning, and did it ever sting! But, that nick healed in jig time!

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  8. Pingback: Unsinkable Jordan | Fathisaffar

  9. I went to Jordan in 2008 and since I ve been to quite a few places in the world, people always ask me where to go and top of my list is always Jordan. The people are wonderful and the landscape stunning! Thanks for posting this and reminding me of one of the reasons I fell in love with Jordan. Keep enjoying 🙂

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  10. The famous Dead Sea! 😀
    A friend of mine once told me that a middle-sized bottle of body clay mask containing salty sea mud from the Dead Sea was one of the most expensive body treatment products in the world!
    Did your skin feel smoother and softer after bathing there? LoL

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  11. It was a little freaky for me at first. I originally starting kicking because my body was used to doing that to stay afloat.

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  12. I’ve heard about the Dead Sea, sure, same as everyone else. I didn’t have a clue to all the additional information you’ve shared here in your post. Must do something to your mind, the experience of expectation of what is normal and what actually is a new normal in this environment. Wow.

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  13. Excellent blog. I am not a swimmer or you can say I am a beginner. It makes me want to visit and try to get into the water of the Dead Sea. May be I will float without any effort. Enjoyed it.

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  14. I would love to check out the Dead Sea, I think it’s one of those things that you just can’t really “get” until you experience it yourself.

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