The salt of the ocean

The Merbabe Adventures

Why is the ocean salty?

Maybe you’ve wondered.  Maybe you’ve heard folk tales about why the ocean is salty: magic salt mills, or perhaps tears.  Maybe you’ve just taken it for granted that it is, and always was and  will be.

Well, simply, the ocean is salty because science.

All water has minerals in it. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into water, and then helps to dissolve the minerals. When minerals dissolve, they form ions (chloride and sodium are most common in the ocean). The water is evaporated and recycled back into atmosphere (through the hydrological cycle), but the salt is left in the water.

Of course, some of the salt comes from the earth’s land. Salt is whisked off the earth’s surface by rivers and deposited in the ocean.

To put it less simply:

“Ocean water is indeed a complex solution of mineral salts and of decayed biologic matter…

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