The dramatic rebirth of a Negev river was captured on video and posted online this week, giving people across the world the chance to witness an Israeli desert natural wonder.
In the footage, published March 14 and reported by Examiner.com, dozens of spectators stand by the dry bed of the Zin River waiting for the first wave to rush through after significant rainfall in nearby mountains.
The sound of the wind whipping across the desert and kids shouting excitedly is soon drowned out by the rushing muddy water as it courses past the cameraman through the riverbed, dropping into a canyon.
Within seconds, the desert wadi transforms into a coursing river, narrowly missing a dog as spectators hurry out of the water’s path.
“Is this what the Red Sea looked like when the waters came rushing back after the Israelites had crossed?” wondered JTA’s Uriel Heilman.
The intermittent Zin River runs 120 kilometers from the Ramon Crater to the Sodom plain, then into the southern end of the Dead Sea.
The river doesn’t flow every year, and it has been several years since it last came to life.
In June 2011, the Zin River was the scene of Israel’s worst ecological disaster in a national park when a backhoe loader ruptured an underground fuel pipeline.