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Life in the Dead Sea

Updated on October 1, 2014

Living Organisms Exist in the not so Dead Sea

It's pretty exciting really. The so called "Dead Sea" is now found to be home to living bacteria. This is an incredible find. Long suspected to be subject to underwater springs, this theory was proven by a team of scientists in 2010. Underwater craters are spewing fresh water at the bottom of our Dead Sea. Fresh water spewing up from a so called "dead" sea rich with incredibly high salt content is infused with these fresh water springs! What is even more extraordinary, however, is that the scientists have now revealed these underwater springs are harboring an environment where life indeed thrives on the seabeds in the areas of the springs, in the form of bacterial mats as well as scattered bacteria.

While bacteria are small and not exactly the type of life one might think of in the form of strange new fish or other living creatures, it's exciting because it's new life, and because it thrives in an environment not thought to be able to support life. This could be incredible in the scheme of our understanding of living organisms! If something, anything, can actually thrive in such a hostile environment, the perhaps our idea of "life" as we know it, could be forever changed.

Let's explore this discovery a little more, shall we?

Photo by Chalky Lives

Map of the Dead Sea
Map of the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea Today

While called a "sea", today it is landlocked as a result of a dried up riverbed from the Jordan River, which used to feed into it, but was blocked off for drinking water. The Dead Sea is continuing to shrink every day, to the tune of about 1 meter per year. While the discovery of the underwater springs is a good thing, scientists have not yet determined if this could lead to the sea's restoration. In some ways, it is a double edge sword. If the water were more diluted, the high salt content which creates its interesting and medicinal effects would decrease.

View Larger Map

The photo below is an example of the bacteria. See the full video of the German team's dive and discoveries on the link below.

Managerie of Microbes

Managerie of Microbes
Managerie of Microbes

Surprising the Researchers

the divers found mats of microbes living near the holes in the seafloor. The variety of the microorganisms living in an environment thought to be largely devoid of life was surprising

Dead Sea Diving - Not an easy feat!

Diving in the Dead Sea is more difficult because people are more buoyant here with the higher salt content. Extra weight makes it difficult to maneuver.

Change in Perspective

the study really changes how we see the Dead Sea, from a biological perspective

...Kelly Bidle, environmental microbiologist at Rider University

The Dead Sea: Famous for Cosmetic Advantages - And Deeply Shrouded in Ancient Religion

Never know what you'll find on Ebay regarding the Dead Sea. It's a good idea to check back often. I've seen some really good deals on interesting stuff pass through here.

The Dead E-Scrolls - Digitizing the Texts

Psalm Scroll
Psalm Scroll

The Great Isaiah Scroll

"And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."

Chapter 11, Verse 6

Thanks for stopping by!

Are you familiar with the Dead Sea? - We appreciate your comments!

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    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      The bottom looks like giant rock salt formations. Really beautiful. Thanks for sharing and raising awareness!

    • Saadat Ali profile image

      Saadat Ali 

      4 years ago from Pakistan

      very informative article.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting lens! It's fascinating that life can exist in such hostile conditions, just like the animals that live in the deep ocean next to hydrothermal vents. I learned a lot.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      Very little so this lens help me to learn more.

      Great info lens

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 

      7 years ago

      It is amazing how resilient certain organisms are! Great lens!

    • Frischy profile image


      7 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Wow! I certainly did not know much of any of this information about the Dead Sea. It is quite interesting. And McDonald's is there....of course!

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @kimbesa2: Thank you Kimbessa!

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I love geography and the ancient world...this lens combines both. Thanks!

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @Virginia Allain: Thank you Vallain!

    • DreamingBoomer profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Kay 

      7 years ago from Jackson, MS

      @Nancy Hardin: Thanks so much for your vote of support Nancy!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Lots of info here about the Dead Sea that was new to me.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Yes, I've heard about the Dead Sea all my life. Your lens covers it and its bacteria very well. Thanks for sharing, good luck on the Sammy the Salmon challenge!

    • Paul Ward profile image


      7 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Interesting news - the Dead Sea is one of thos ephenomena you sort of take for granted.


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