The high salinity level of the Dead Sea prevents it from supporting marine life such as fish. On average, the waters of the Dead Sea are around 10 times saltier than the waters of other seas. But what favors so much salt in a small sea?
It’s the high temperatures of the region that prompt higher than average evaporation rates. This then prompts a higher concentration of salts and minerals in the smaller water mass.
The Dead Sea can’t support fish
The Dead Sea gets its name from its high salinity that prevents living fish from living in its waters. A small number of bacteria lives here and life around the sea is abundant. However, there are no fish, snails, sharks, or corals in this sea due to its salinity.
The Dead Sea is also getting saltier year by year. Scientists show this sea is shrinking at a rate of around 1 meter per year. It is believed the sea is now half of its size from 100 years ago. This has triggered international negotiations between the neighboring states to try and prevent the sea from shrinking further, especially from human intervention. This attempt of controlling its water mass gives hope that the next generations are going to see the sea as it is today.
Another interesting aspect that makes the Dead See different, even without fish, is that it sits below sea level. This can be interpreted in many ways. But as a tourist, you will not get sunburn as fast here as in other locations as you don’t get as much UV light exposure here as at other seas.
This has also been linked to an extra evaporation air filter that is caused by the high evaporation and airborne sea salt particles that prevent the UV rays from traveling normally.
What happens if you put fish in the Dead Sea?
There have been reported numerous cases where fish were brought in to the sea’s waters. Unfortunately, fish can’t survive here due to the high salinity of more than a few hours. There are even indications to show fish have a difficult time breathing and swimming in its waters.
High salt levels come with high buoyancy which means all objects in the sea tend to rise and stay at the surface. Even humans are known for natural buoyancy at the Dead Sea. It becomes almost impossible to drown as the water naturally holds you up at the surface.
This natural buoyancy also leads the sea to spit up various rocks and minerals to the surface. Locals gather them and used them in different cosmetic products. From ancient times, Egyptians used to collect these minerals unearthed by the Dead Sea and used them in the mummification rituals specific to their culture.
Today, the Dead Sea sits over 400 meters below sea level and its high salinity prevents fish from living in its waters. Its shrinking water mass also means that the sea is becoming even saltier and this means there are no chances of seeing fish here in the future either.