Holy Land

Watch a short video “tour” of the Masada ruins (there is no talking but listen for the bird chirps!) 

The Holy Land. The Dead Sea, sunk 1300 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, is about fifty miles long and ten feet wide. It has no outlet, and so grows saltier all the time. Herod’s castle, where Salome danced for the head of John the Baptist, hangs dramatically over the brink of the Dead Sea pit, at the top of a 4000-foot wall of rock. From here, Herod could look across the dark chasm and see the towers of Jerusalem, 25 miles away. The Sea of Galilee, to the north, is fresh water. It has an outlet— the Jordan River. (CC BY 2.0 ©2015 Maya-Anais Yataghene)

Shore of the Dead Sea.
Shore of the Dead Sea. It doesn’t look dead. (CC BY-SA 2.0 ©2017 Yair Aronshtam)


The Dead Sea is twenty-five per cent salt!
The Dead Sea is twenty-five per cent salt! Over time the salt builds up and creates deposits. The lighter patches in this photo show the deposits of salt on the rocks. (CC BY 2.0 ©2012 tsaiproject)


In the Dead Sea, for every four gallons of water there is one gallon of salt. This makes the water very heavy. If you try to swim in it you float like a cork. Some swimmers can keep their feet down only by tying rocks to them. (CC BY-SA 2.0 ©2007 seetheholyland.net)


Ruins of the Masada
Ruins of the Masada—Herod’s fortress. (CC BY-SA 4.0 ©2013 Andrew Shiva)
Model of Herod’s castle within the Masada complex. (public domain, 2008 Berthold Werner)