Where Does the Salt in the Oceans Come from and Why is it There?

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2006

Dear reader,

Much of the salt in the oceans comes from the land. The elements that make up salts, such as chlorine and sodium, started out in rocks. Water and acids eroded the rocks, and rivers carried the elements into the sea. The oceans usually contain 35 parts of salts for every 1000 parts of sea water. This is lower in some places where there is a lot of fresh water coming into the ocean. It is higher where the Sun is very strong and evaporates more of the water. When all the water is gone, the salts are left behind as solid, white crystals.

The right amount of salt is a very important part of our diet. In ancient times, salt was worth its weight in gold. People used it to flavor and preserve their food. Without salt, the food would spoil. For this reason, salt became a symbol of purity. Some sacrifices in the Old Testament included salt (Leviticus 2:13; Ezekiel 43:24). Also, Jesus called faithful people “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). We are to preserve the world from being totally corrupt by sin. As salt flavors and preserves meat, so Christians are to flavor and preserve the world.


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