Facts about Jordan River

15 Jordan River facts

The holy river of the Middle East

It has been an important settlement site since ancient times and has played an important role in the history and culture of the region.

It is considered one of the most sacred rivers in the region and is an important site for many religious traditions, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

For Christians, Jews, and Muslims, the Jordan River is associated with the prophets Elijah and Moses, the baptism of Christ, and the burial place of numerous companions of the prophet Mohammed.

Jordan River
The Jordan River is a river in southwest Asia, the Middle East.

It flows through 5 countries: Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

It originates from the Mount Hermon mountain cluster on the Syrian-Lebanon border, flows through the Sea of Galilee, and into the Dead Sea.

The section between the source of the river and the Sea of Galilee is called upper course of Jordan river. From the Sea of Galilee to the mouth at the Dead Sea flows the lower Jordan.

The lower course is called the "Jordan Valley" - the deepest valley on earth, as it is 212 m below sea level at its beginning and ends at 436 m below sea level with its mouth at the Dead Sea.

The River Jordan has six main tributaries.
They are the Hasbani River, the Banias River, the Dan River, the Ayoun River, the Yarmouk River, and the Jabbok River.
It is known by three different names, depending on the country it flows through.

In most of the world it is known as the Jordan River. The Arabs call it Nahr al Urdun, while its name in Hebrew is Nahar ha-Yarden.

It is 251 kilometers long.

It's basin area is 18.285 km2 (7,060 sq mi). Over 7 million people live in Jordan River's basin.

It has the lowest water level of any river in the world.

At the point where it flows into the Dead Sea, it is 436 m (1,430 ft) below sea level.

Some parts of the river are closed to the public and are considered military zone.
From 70% to 90% of the water reserves are used by humans.
This, combined with a high evaporation rate, causes the Jordan River to dry up.
The flow rate of the Jordan River declined drastically since 2010.
Compared to 1,3 billion cubic meters annually, it now oscillates at 20 to 30 million cubic meters every year.
The reduced flow greatly impacts the Dead Sea, causing its rapid shrinking.
The River Jordan is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
Three countries the Jordan River flows through use it as a dumping site for their waste. It caused a major disturbance in the river’s ecosystem.
Despite the pollution, the River Jordan houses a wide range of wildlife and birds.
This includes a vast variety of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians.
The Jordan River is a destination for seasonal bird migration.
Every year, it hosts over 500 species of birds.
It holds major significance in Christianity and Judaism.
According to the Bible, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. It was also crossed by the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land.
The location of the supposed baptism of Jesus is recognized as a place of worship.

The site is located 9 km north of the Dead Sea on the east bank of the river. The site was included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO under the title Bethany Beyond the Jordan (Al-Maghtas).

About 600,000 Christian pilgrims visit this site annually.

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