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John Locke believed human beings start life "from scratch," with the mind at birth a "tabula rasa" or blank slate, which is then filled with knowledge through experience (read more)

Featured Article: Dead Sea

Dead Sea at Sunset (from Suwayma, Jordan)
The Dead Sea (Arabic: البحر الميت, Hebrew: ים המלח, translated as Sea of Salt), is a salt lake lying on the border between the nations of Israel and Jordan. Commonly known as the Earth's lowest point, it occurs at 1,371 feet (418 m) below sea level, making its shores the Earth's lowest point not under water or ice. It is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world, at 1,083 feet (330 m) deep. It is also the second saltiest body of water on Earth, with a salinity of about 30 percent (approximately 8.6 times greater than average ocean salinity). Only Lake Asal in Djibouti has a higher salinity.

The Dead Sea measures 42 miles (67 km) long and 11 miles (18 km) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Great Rift Valley. The Jordan River is its main tributary.

The Dead Sea has attracted interest and visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. It was a place of refuge for King David, one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of products as diverse as balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. The area holds significance in Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths as the location for events important in their historical records.

Popular Article: Mediterranean Sea

Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea, a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, lies between the continents of Eurasia and Africa enclosed almost completely by land. It is bounded on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia; and it joins with the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar only eight miles (13 kilometers) wide and 1,050 feet (320 meters) deep. The surface area of the Mediterranean Sea is approximately 965,000 square miles (2.5 million square kilometers). In oceanography, the Mediterranean Sea is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea, to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.

To the northeast the Mediterranean Sea is connected with the Black Sea through the Dardanelles (with a sill depth of 230 feet), the Sea of Marmara, which is often considered to be part of the Mediterranean Sea, and the strait of the Bosporus (sill depth of about three hundred feet). To the southeast it is connected with the Red Sea by the man-made Suez Canal.