Friday, January 19, 2018

What’s in Saltwater?

December 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


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If you’re in the ocean looking over the side of your boat, what do you see? You may say that you just see seawater, but what you’re looking at is saltwater filled with super-tiny amazing things.

Not every saltwater body has the same chemical makeup. Yet generally, there are ions dissolved into the water (if you haven’t learned about atoms and molecules in school yet, you will) and minerals (these will come up, too). Some of these are sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfate, and calcium. There are gases such as nitrogen and oxygen (the less salt, the more gas), and substances like carbonates and bicarbonates (they affect acidity, but we’re not in class, so let’s move on).

Particles float in the water instead of dissolving. Depending on what’s along the shore and on the seafloor, there can be tiny bits of many things, like clay, rock, sand, pollution such as plastic microbeads, and sea creature poop.

There are lots of living things in the water that you can’t spot without a microscope or other scientific equipment. These include plankton — plants, animals, bacteria, algae, viruses, and other teeny life forms.

You may think living things might grow better in warmer water than colder water, but it’s usually the opposite. Cold water generally has more nutrients to sustain live things.

Seems like there’s a lot going on in the sea you can’t see!

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Learn more, and see what’s living in saltwater!


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