We’ve discussed general facts about water in previous article. Now, we will talk about salt water. As the name implies, salt water means water containing salt. It has several other names such as sea water, saline water, brine, etc. The water makes up the seas and oceans, covering two-third of the Earth’s surface. The composition of salt water includes 96.5 percent water, 2.5 percent salts, and the rest is the other amounts of substances such as atmospheric gases, organic and inorganic materials, and particulates. Although salt water has been included in the school subject and many people have learnt a lot about it, sometimes they just miss some interesting salt water facts.
Interesting salt water facts: the ecosystem
Most salt water fish can’t surface in freshwater, vice versa. They will die because their body cells that are highly concentrated of salt solution will burst due to the fresh water that keeps flowing into their body. That is why you cannot put a crab or any other ocean creatures in an aquarium.
On the other hand, it is also impossible for freshwater fish to live in the ocean. The salt water is too salty for them, causing their bodies to flow out their cells. As a result, they will eventually die due to dehydration.
However, there is a few species of fishes who can live both in seawater and freshwater such as Euryhaline fish. There are two types of this organisms; catadromous (who basically live in freshwater but spawn in saltwater) and anadromous (who spend most of their lives in the ocean but lay eggs in freshwater. Both of them are able to survive both in saltwater and freshwater because the bodies can tolerate and migrate in both water for a certain amount of time.
Saltwater is drinkable
You can’t drink saltwater for daily consumption as you will suffer from dehydration. Unfortunately, the supply of fresh water is decreasing that there is a struggle to meet the demand. Thanks to advanced technology that saltwater can be treated in such a way, called desalination, that it becomes drinkable.
Saltwater is a source of oxygen
Do you know that the ocean is great at sucking up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air? Humans produce CO2 when they burn oil, coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. About one-quarter of the CO2 that they create is absorbed by the ocean. Without the ocean, humans will encounter worse troubles due to much. Saltwater ecosystems including fish and other animals and sea plants take CO2and turn it into oxygen.
Saltwater freezes at low temperature
Just like freshwater, saltwater can also freeze but the freezing point is different from that of freshwater. While freshwater freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, saltwater freezes at lower temperature, which is 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It happens because of the salt containing in the water.
The sources of salt in the ocean
How can the ocean be salty? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions that you’ve often heard about saltwater. There are two main sources of salt dissolved in the sea. First, the salt comes from rainwater that falls on land. It contains acid that erodes rocks, releasing ions. These acidic ions are carried away to rivers that flow to the oceans. Overtime, the concentration of the ions increases.
The next source of salt in the seawater is hydrothermal fluids that come from the seafloor. The floor of the ocean has vents or cracks. Sea water seeps into these vents and is heated by magma inside the Earth. The heated water is released again from the vents, carrying some minerals (salt) produced by the chemical reactions when it is heated.
Those are the salt water facts that you probably have learnt from schools. Knowing such general knowledge is very interesting as it explains how incredible things happen scientifically.