For Humans, living lower than sea level can be a strange concept to visualize, but as a matter-of-fact there are dozens of places on land with elevations below sea level.
It sounds counter-intuitive but many well-populated places in the world are below sea level, and some of these places are up to a quarter of a mile below.
For example, about a third of the Netherlands including Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is below sea level and remain in constant danger by flooding from both the sea and from rivers.
To keep low-lying land free of water, the Dutch government has constructed numerous dikes, dams, and floodgates to provide defense against storm surges from the sea and to keep water out.
The origins of these lowest points of elevation, is due to Earth’s geological and geographical phenomena, that are cause either due to motion of tectonic plates boundary or because of drying of lake or sea.
To identify such areas, we lists the following 10 countries with the lowest points of elevantion on Earth:
10. Turkmenistan (Akdzhakaya Depression)
Elevation: -81 meters below sea level (approx.)
The Akdzhakaya Depression is located in north-central part of Turkmenistan in Karakum Desert, which is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, with an area of 350,000 square kilometers with the lowest point elevation at -81 meters below sea level.
The area has one of the most extreme climate in Central Asia, with cold winters and very hot summers. The summer temperatures exceed 50°C, but in winter temperatures fall to –30°C.
9. USA (Badwater Basin)
Elevation: -85 meters below sea level (approx.)
Badwater Basin is an endorheic basin located in Death Valley National Park, California, and is the location of the lowest land elevation in the United States. It is a north-south trending valley between the Amargosa Range on the east and the Panamint Range on the west.
The Badwater Basin is one of the hottest locations in the United States with highest temperatures recorded at 56.7 °C (134 °F) which was measured on 10 July 1913.
Badwater Basin and its surrounded Death Valley gets very little rain. However, significant rainstorms can cause flash floods that produce a large lake in the bottom of the valley.
8. Argentina (Laguna Del Carbón)
Elevation: -105 meters below sea level (approx.)
At -105 metres below sea level, Laguna del Carbón is the lowest point of Argentina and both the Western and Southern Hemispheres, and the eight-lowest point on Earth.
The waters of the lake are very clear and pure and makes it a very scenic spot. The beautiful views around the lake makes it a fine destination for those who love beautiful surroundings.
7. Ethopia (Danakil Depression)
Elevation: -125 meters below sea level (approx.)
The Denakil Depression is a low area within the Afar Depression of Ethiopia. The Afar Depression is formed at a triple junction of tectonic plates (Indian, African and Arabian). The relative motions of the plates produce a divergence that results in the Denakil Depression.
Danakil Depression has one of the most extreme climates found on Earth and is one of the hottest, driest place on the planet with six lava lakes in close proximity, hot springs and miniature geysers.
6. Kazakhstan (Karagiye Depression)
Elevation: 132 meters below sea level (approx.)
One of the main attractions of Kazakhstan, which attracts the attention of a large number of tourists, is the Karagiye Depression (close to the Caspian Sea).
At approximately -132 metres below sea level it is the lowest point in Central Asia. The Karagiye Depression is also famous among treasure hunters trying to find ancient treasures in numerous rocky canyons.
5. Egypt (Qattara Depression)
Elevation: -133 meters below sea level (approx.)
Qattara Depression, is an arid Libyan Desert (Eastern Saharan) basin in northwestern Egypt. It covers an area of about 7,000 square miles (a size comparable with Lake Ontario or twice as large as Lebanon) and contains salt lakes and marshes.
The depression has no permanenet settlements and other than nomadic bedouin people it supports no commercial activity due to water scarcity during the dry seasons.
4. China (Aydingkol Lake)
Elevation: -154 meters below sea level (approx. lowest point below sea level)
At -154 meters below sea level, it is the lowest point in China, and also lower than anywhere on Earth outside the countries of Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, and Djibouti.
Aydingkol Lake (meaning Moonlight Lake), is located 50 kilometers away from Turpan City, and covers an area of 22 kilometers and measures 40 kilometers from west to east, eight kilometers from north to south.
3. Djibouti (Lake Assal)
Elevation: – 155 meters below sea level (approx. lowest point below sea level)
Lake Assal is a saline lake which lies -155 m below sea level in the Afar Triangle, making it the lowest point on land in Africa and the third-lowest point on Earth after the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
It is also the second saltiest body of water in the world.
2. Syria (Sea of Galilee)
Elevation: – 214 meters below sea level (approx. lowest point below sea level)
The Sea of Galilee, is a freshwater lake between Israel and Syria. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world, at levels between -214 metres and -210 metres below sea level.
It is approximately 21 km long, and 13 km wide and supplies approximately 10% of Israel’s drinking water needs.
The lake is also famous for its biblical associations in Old Testemants, and is a major attraction site for Christian pilgrims who visit Israel.
1. Israel, Jordan, Syria, Palestine (Dead Sea)
Elevation: -428 meters below sea level (approx. lowest point below sea level)
Country: Israel, Jordan, Syria, Palestine
The Dead Sea Depression is the Earth’s lowest elevation on land. Also known as the Salt Sea, the dead sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east, Syria to the north and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
It’s a hypersaline lake and one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a very high density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming in this salt lake similar to floating.