Wonder Lesson

Do you ever wonder where sea water gets it’s salt?

Find Out:

Have you ever wondered how all that sticky salt gets into the ocean? Have you ever ridden your boogie board for hours in the waves to come out covered in salt and sticky in all the wrong places? In those moments, do you wonder how did all this salt get into the water?

Well, there is a multitude of things that contribute to the salt watery ocean. The main thing that contributes to salty water is rock on land. Salt is deposited into the water through rocks. When rain falls on land and rocks it contains dissolved carbon dioxide from the air. This means that the rain water is slightly acidic because of the carbonic acid that is formed. As a result, the rain erodes the rock and the particles end up in the ocean with runaway water.

This is where it gets a little scientific. This process creates ions and organisms in the ocean use many but some are left alone for along time and increase in size. As the amounts of these ions increase the amount of chloride and sodium increase and sodium and chloride are salty.

Try It Out:

Want to see the difference between fresh water and salt water? How can salt effect it? Try this experiment; fill one bowl with salt water and one bowl with fresh water. Gather seashells or anything else and test them see which one floats and which one sinks. You can find more information at here.

Which freezes first? Have you ever noticed that lakes and ponds always freeze before the ocean does? Why does this happen what makes the difference. Try conducting an experiment to see how the timing differs when you freeze fresh vs. salt water. Use this website for more information.

Want something more advanced? Our pupils can actually observe ocean acidification. How it works is if you introduce carbon dioxide to sea water you can see it happen, you can do this by lighting a candle over seawater. For more information go to this website.