Dead Sea Moves Ahead As Finalist In Natural World Wonders Contest


dead-seaThe Dead Sea advanced in an international competition to name the seven natural wonders of the world. Earlier in the month, voters in the global 7 Natural Wonders Internet contest narrowed the list from 261 sites to 77. And yesterday, the Dead Sea was chosen as one of 28 finalists. Voting is now open to the world public for two years to chose seven winners.

Competition organizers expect more than a billion people to participate in the online voting until 2011 when the finalists by categories will be announced.

A victory for the Dead Sea in its category of lakes, rivers and waterfalls could bring more tourism to the area and raise awareness of the lake’s uncertain future, since it is shrinking yearly.

Other finalists include the Grand Canyon in the United States, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Angel Falls in Venezuela, and the Kilimanjaro mountain in Tanzania.Initially the Palestinian Authority had balked at signing the official supporting papers for the Dead Sea’s candidacy but later acquiesced.

Under the rules of the contest, if a nominated site is located in more than one country, each country must have a contest committee. The Dead Sea sits in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority had refused to establish a committee due to the participation of an Israel municipal council that represents settlements. Israel and Jordan had signed participation documents.

The Dead Sea is the lowest dry point on Earth, at 420 meters below sea level. In addition, the lake has a salinity level of 30 percent, 8.6 times greater than the ocean.

Voting is now open in the contest at

{Yair Israel}