Video report here.
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I'm curious as to why they wore those mask things? From what I can fathom ( ha ha) , the Great Salt Lake is very similar to the Dead Sea in salinity and I know that when I swam GSL, ( about 9 miles) no one used a mask. Of course , ones mouth felt as if you had swallowed a whole can of pringles at one go.. but that went away with some lovely Thai soup...
Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach
Ok, I googled it find out! The internet says that the Dead Sea has a salinity of 34.2% (measured in 2010) while the Great Salt Lake can vary between 5% and 27%. I do seem to remember someone, and I have no idea who, telling me that parts of GSL are safe to swim in and others will burn you if you're not careful. So, perhaps the organized GSL swim is through a place with less salinity? Either way, the Dead Sea seems to be worse over all. I know I saw that Kim Chambers posted that she accidentally got a few drops in her eye during a practice swim in the Dead Sea and it really burned pretty badly.
I know GSL can vary, and I assume DS can vary as well. I don't know.. It just looked a little mellow dramatic...(I am sure I spelled that wrong). I know it's for a good cause et al but ...
I did more reading cuz I was curious. First, the north arm of GSL is where it's really salty. All thr rivers drain into the south part of the lake, so that area averges a salinity of 10-11%. The Dead Sea is in a warmer climate year round, and that also causes it to increase in salinity. From what I can tell, the Dead Sea does have a much more consistent salinity makeup, compared to Salt Lake.
I've never swum in either and think the average ocean is too salty, so I can't comment on if the masks were needed, or just for a touch of drama. I'd prefer not to put my face in that, either way, so I'd probably opt for a mask, personally. :-)
I do think the swim was intriguing and it seems from facebook they did raise a lot of awareness, which is always cool.
My tongue was brined and swollen for 3 weeks after I swam the Great Salt Lake Marathon. I con't imagine spending too much time face down on the Dead Sea without so sort of protection.
It's crazy how far out of the water they're floating.
It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.