The Dead Sea is slowly disappearing leaving behind dangerous sinkholes in place

Anita Durairaj

The Dead Sea is a salt lake and its shores are considered to be the lowest land-based elevation on the planet. It is famous for being one of the saltiest lakes on the planet and a popular tourist attraction. However, a strange phenomenon has been occurring in the past few decades.

The Dead Sea has been receding and it is alarming scientists because the sea is receding at a swift rate. Since 1960, the Dead Sea has lost a third of its surface area. The waters have receded about 1 meter every year.

As the sea recedes, it is leaving behind giant craters on the earth. These dangerous sinkholes have led to the loss of beach habitats and resorts. The ground in the area has collapsed and highways have become swallowed. Tourist complexes have turned into ghost towns. The sinkholes have also affected agricultural production.

It is reported that at least 6000 sinkholes have appeared on the Israeli side of the Dead Sea in the past four decades. The sinkholes exceed 33 feet in depth.

The sinkholes form when the receding saltwater leaves behind salt deposits underground. The runoff from floods dissolves these salt deposits resulting in the collapse of land as there is no support.

Scientists blame human activity for the receding of the Dead Sea. The need for precious water resources has resulted in Israel and Jordan diverting the waters of the Dead Sea for agriculture and drinking. Chemical companies have also extracted minerals from the sea.

Both Israel and Jordan are making efforts to save the Dead Sea. In the meantime, the sinkholes of the Dead Sea remain dangerous but are magnificent to see.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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