Friday, May 18, 2007

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea – Don’t Let It Die!

Dead Sea image courtsey:

‘Tirus and Tiriac’!

“In this (the Dead Sea) ‘Tirus’ the serpent (a mythical one) is found, and from him the ‘tiriac’ medicine is made. He is blind and full of venom that there is no remedy for his bite except cutting of the bitten part. He can only be taken by striking him and making him angry, then his venom flies in his head and tail” Bernard Breyden Bach. Dean of Mainz Press of Schoeffer (Mainz is a city in Germany on the bank of River Rhine).

Chimney of Hell!

This statement illustrates how intriguing this lake was (it still is). There are many other statements about this desolate sea; here is one ‘Dead Sea is a chimney of hell, the holy water of Jordan does not mingle with the cursed water of the infernal sea” (the holy water just gets sunk in to the bowel of the mother-earth without joining Dead Sea!). There are many other curses this poor lake has to bear!

A small big lake!

The Dead Sea is a medium sized lake situated between Israel and the West Bank, in size it is not comparable to the other biggies of the world like Lake Superior or the Caspian Sea; yet it is with some uniqueness no other water-bank on earth is endowed with. The Dead Sea plateau is the Earth’s lowest point of earth not covered by water or ice (only ocean floors are deeper) and it is the deepest among ‘hyper saline’ (with excessive salt content) with a depth of 1083 feet (330 meters).

Asal no match!

The Dead Sea is about 42 miles in length and the broadest portion is just 11 miles. It has got a total shore-length of 84 miles (135 kilometers) and about 8.6 times saltier than the ocean; there is only one water body on earth saltier than the Dead Sea, the Lake Asal of Djibouti which is much smaller and no match for Dead Sea!

Vanishes in the desert air.

The holy River Jordan is the only source of water on which this lake gets its life blood, but numerous irrigation projects set up on its banks rob the much needed water for the survival of this besieged lake. There is no problem of any outlet as this lake is situated in the deepest part of earth. The arid wind and the sizzling temperature of the area sucks whatever water it gets and much more; leaving it in a fast depleting state. The water level of this lake falls down by one meter in a year. Experts say by 2050 the present Dead Sea will get reduced in to a mere ugly salt pit; Heaven forbid!

Can’t drown!

The hyper salinity of the lake allows no living things (except some micro organisms) to thrive in it a fish put in to it will die of dehydration within minutes – hence the name Dead Sea, there is no fishing or a related activities existing on its shore. As the water of the sea contains numerous minerals in high concentration, is so dense and one cannot dip in to it as usual, the heavy water will eject him to the surface.

It is presumed that there are some medicinal properties to this water and the mud beneath. This belief has made health tourism flourish in this area and there are numerous spas providing healing service to tourists who flock from all parts of the world. There are one or two companies engaged in the business of extracting minerals to make fertilizer and some chemicals.

A cruel irony!

Moses image courtsey:

References about the Dead Sea in the Bible are numerous and this lake is the epicenter of all the holy events and the related locations of all Semitic religions. It is on its shores that Moses along with his disciples wandered in search of the promised land. (Christianity, Judaism as well as Islam). It is a rare phenomenon that a particular location has given rise to three prominent religions that have played most prominent roles in shaping the destiny of the world (it remains a cruel irony that all these religions which preach peace and harmony miserably failed to establish a congenial atmosphere in these holy locations).

Salt rocks; Lot’s wife somewhere?

Salt Rock in Dead Sea image courtsey:

The story of Lot as described in the Bible is arises in the mind of a visitor to the shores of the lake. The ubiquitous salt rocks remind the cursed wife of Lot (who did nothing wrong other than just looking back) had to pay heavily for the feminine curiosity! Many still see a salt rock in the shape of that woman! (She should have spared at least considering the fact that she was a poor woman with some inquisitiveness, but there is no remedy to fate – man proposes god disposes; we are mere butterflies in the hands of children!)

An old soap opera.

Off late a set of scrolls found near to the Dead Sea has gained a lot of attention thanks to the book ‘The Davinci Code’. These scrolls are believed to be those gospels of the Disciples of Christ that were not included in the Bible. Known as the Gnostic gospels (esoteric (a knowledge shared by only limited number of people of a group) knowledge preached by a prominent heretical movement of the 2nd century), there is much speculation among academics and scholars as to whether it shows the relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene in a more personal and intimate light.

Save The Dead Sea don’t let it die!

Whatever said and done the world cannot be a silent spectator when the Dead Sea is undergoing a slow death. It is time to pool in at least some of the resources and do something to save this ‘liquid history’ before it getting solidified! Fifty years of life forecast for this lake is too small a span for a great lake like Dead Sea. This Sea should be there for generations to see, as the locations around are associated with the events that shook and shaped the history of the world. They all still stand tall as if frozen; unaware of the time that has passed.

Build channels Aqaba and Mediterranean are not far away.

Map of Dead Sea courtsey:

It is proposed to construct a tunnel or a channel from either Gulf of Aqaba or The Mediterranean Sea to this lake and refresh this lake with cool and clean sea water - making the Dead Sea ticking with life! Let us enjoy the sight of seeing happy fishermen casting their nets in this ‘living’ sea which is no more ‘dead’. A project that can be executed with a few billion dollars, a fraction of what is now spent for fighting wars in this forsaken land (not God-forsaken).

The author is requesting the co-operation of all bloggers’ communities for raising this idea for the prosperity and well-being of this portion of the land as well as for the whole earth. This article is dedicated to the idea of revival of this ‘sea’, an idea the time of which has come. Save the Sea that not yet dead!