Scientists and bureaucrats alike are very concerned about the Dead Sea, that super salty, religiously famous lake that lies on the border of Israel and Jordan. It's shrinking at an alarming rate and nobody knows what to do. The body of water that served as a refuge for King David in Biblical times has dropped a record 4.9 feet in the last year, and the disappearing water is showing no signs of slowing down. As a point of comparison, the world's oceans that are rising at record rates have only gone up 4 to 8 inches in the past century. If we don't do something soon, there's a distinct chance that the Dead Sea as we know it could just disappear.
The reasons for the sinking sea are pretty straightforward. Experts say that half the drop has been caused by industry, specifically Israel Chemicals Ltd and Jordan's Arab Potash Co. The Dead Sea's waters contain ten times more salt than the oceans, a fact that makes its waters perfect for manufacturing potash, a basic ingredient in fertilizer. As the chemical companies pump out the salty, profitable water for potash, the local agricultural industry diverts water from the Jordan River that feeds the Dead Sea to their fields of crops.