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Jordan Valley Authority reveals cause of water near Dead Sea turning red

Dead Sea
An aerial view shows salt formations in the southern part of the Dead Sea near the Israeli Neve Zohar resort on June 17, 2021. |

After a body of water near the Dead Sea in Jordan recently turned red, the Jordan Valley Authority tested the water and offered a reason behind the change of its color.

The cause of the appearance of the red color is the manganese found in the water, said Manar Mahasneh, the secretary-general of the Jordan Valley Authority, according to Roya News.

The Jordan Valley Authority carried out the test after many Jordanians posted pictures on social media showing red water in a pond that is isolated from the Dead Sea.

It was initially believed that the red color was likely caused by algae, iron oxide or the addition of substances to change the water’s color, The Jerusalem Post recently quoted Sakhr Al-Nusour, who heads the Jordanian Geologists Syndicate, as saying.

Some Jordanians have accused their government of dumping waste chemicals into the pool.  

According to the Old Testament in the Bible, God turned the waters of the River Nile into blood as one of the 10 plagues to punish the Pharaoh for his unwillingness to release Jewish slaves.

The eastern shores of the Dead Sea, where the pool of red water is located, is also where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah stood before God destroyed them and all of the people who lived there.

Roya News quoted Yassin al-Kasasbeh, the Director of Agriculture in the Southern Jordan Valley, as saying that the color of the water in ponds situated near seas might change because of bacteria and red algae, which look red in sunlight.

“But this does not explain why the water suddenly turned red while other pools have not displayed the same phenomenon, particularly given that the region experiences near year-round sunny skies,” the Daily Mail commented.

In July 2011, blood-like color of water emerged inside a man-made lake in the OC Fisher Reservoir in San Angelo State Park in Texas after it nearly dried up. Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries officials said at the time that the water’s color was the result of Chromatiaceae bacteria, according to Live Science.

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