It's not weird to wonder why the ocean is salty when we are surrounded by so much fresh water in the form of lakes and rivers. Most people know that rivers run into the sea, but wonder how the ocean can stay salty when all rivers consist of fresh water? Understanding how ocean water is created and how to remove the salinity is good information to have, especially if you're in a pinch for freshwater options.


1. Why is the Ocean Salty?

Salt is made up of two chemical elements: sodium and chlorine. Together they make sodium chloride. When it rains, rocks are slowly worn down, and the containing minerals get washed out to sea. Under the waves, hydrothermal vents also pour out minerals and chemicals from deep within the Earth's core. Sea life consume some of these minerals, but over time it still manages to increase in concentration. Ocean water is full of dissolved ions, but the overwhelming majority are sodium and chlorine, the two chemicals that give the ocean its signature saltines.

ocean salty ocean LeoPatrizi / Getty Images

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