Swimming in the Dead Sea is not as easy as one would think.
My husband, 5 year old daughter, and myself (5 months pregnant) were in the middle of a two month trip to the Middle East. After our second week in Jerusalem, we left the city to explore the desert and had to make a stop at the Dead Sea.
I'm a marine scientist and environmental microbiologist, so the Dead Sea was a fascinating place for me see. I was not satisfied standing on the shore. We all got in to feel the water and see what it was like to float with such incredibly high concentrations of salts. The water actually felt slippery, more like oil, and trying to swim was nearly impossible. My daughter, who is an excellent swimmer, was surprised that she had such little control over her actions in the water; she bobbed like a cork! We were only able to swim for about 10 minutes before we decided to get out. I felt as if the skin had been eaten from my legs. Fortunately, a rinse in freshwater seemed to solve that problem pretty quickly.
The Dead Sea is both fascinating and beautiful. If you're in the area, make sure to visit. Nearby, also see Masada, and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls.