The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East

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Landlocked between Israel and Jordan, the salt lake known as the Dead Sea is famous for being the lowest body of water on the surface of Earth; it continues to attract tourists from around the world.

Since the 1960s, when Israel and Jordan began diverting much of the Jordan River's flow and increasing the commercial use of the lake, the water levels have been steadily dropping.

By the mid-2010s the lake level had dropped 30 meters below its mid-20th-century level, and it continues to drop by about a meter annually.

© REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun Jade holds a Tibetan singing bowl as she sits on a cliff overlooking the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on February 20, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Jade holds a Tibetan singing bowl as she sits on a cliff overlooking the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on February 20, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun Levi holds a keffiyeh, an Arab head scarf, as he walks along the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 4, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Levi holds a keffiyeh, an Arab head scarf, as he walks along the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 4, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun Tourists from Poland float in the Dead Sea during sunset near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 25, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Tourists from Poland float in the Dead Sea during sunset near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 25, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunZina, a tourist from Belarus, plays his guitar as he sits on the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 25, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Zina, a tourist from Belarus, plays his guitar as he sits on the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 25, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunA woman blows the Jewish Shofar, a ram's horn, on the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 31, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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A woman blows the Jewish Shofar, a ram's horn, on the shore of the Dead Sea near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 31, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunA man covered with mud from the Dead Sea lies down on the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 9, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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A man covered with mud from the Dead Sea lies down on the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 9, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunGad stands in a sweetwater pool among the reeds, on the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 4, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Gad stands in a sweetwater pool among the reeds, on the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on January 4, 2018.
© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunAvraham walks along the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on February 7, 2018.
The Dead Sea, the Pearl of the Middle East - Sputnik International
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Avraham walks along the shore of the Dead Sea, near Metzoke Dragot, Israel on February 7, 2018.
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