Photo Credit: Courtesy Kan 11 News
The Secret river

There is a river in Israel nobody knew existed, until Sunday night, that is, when Kan 11 News exposed it to the world. To start, it’s nice to know that in a world surrounded by satellites that take pictures of everything all the time, this great river could be kept a secret for so long. No one who should have known, including Israel’s green groups and avid 4-wheel drive nature lovers, had any idea. On the other hand, it’s also quite upsetting: how dare they—whomever “they” may be—keep such a natural treasure from us?

This video is alive, despite the fact that for some reason YouTube has attached an error image to it. Click and watch:

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This will all be sorted out sooner or later, presumably. Meanwhile, here are the facts: on Sunday night, Channel 11 (Israel’s PBS) revealed that there is a secret river, more than 6 miles long, flowing inside a huge canyon, between cliffs that are tens of meters tall, to the Dead Sea (The Sea of Salt in Hebrew).

Just in case the above video is removed from YouTube, here is the Twitter version:

This river lies within the concession area of ​​the Dead Sea Works, an Israeli potash plant in Sodom, on the Dead Sea coast. This is the reason the secret river’s existence has been kept secret. Also, according to the report, the Dead Sea Works concession is also why the river is currently in great danger. Apparently, no one really knows the exact scope of the works at Dead Sea Works, and what it may be doing to the local environment.

Kan 11 was adamant about warning enthusiastic Israeli nature lovers to stay away from the new discovery, because, as they put it most bluntly: “the place is full of mines – there is a real danger to life facing anyone trying to get there.”

Of course, only in Israel would a news broadcast report someone planted a whole bunch of landmines someplace and move on, without stopping to inquire: landmines? In the middle of the desert? Why? When? Who put it there? In Israel, if someone put landmines someplace they must have had a good reason. Watch your step.

According to Kan 11, “the place is packed with unique natural phenomena, not seen anywhere else in the world.” The report also suggested that not only is Dead Sea Works suspected of exceeding the scope of their permits, another project, known as Salt Harvest, may also now come under scrutiny, because suddenly having the new river around may call its calculations into question.

The Salt Harvest project aims to transport salt back to the Dead Sea, in order to raise the sea level which has been declining greatly over the years. Transporting the salt from the evaporation ponds and dispersing it at the bottom of the Dead Sea basin will cause the sea level to rise. Now, with the new river, it’s back to the drawing board for everyone down there, at the deepest point on planet Earth.

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