Salt Water vs Fresh Water

Topics: Water, Ocean, Seawater Pages: 6 (2202 words) Published: April 7, 2013
Salt Water or Fresh Water, Which Would You Prefer?

Many people wonder, what big differences are between salt water and fresh water? Is it just water with salt versus water without salt? Those are some common questions people have. Most people ask about the differences, but they forget about the similarities of salt water and fresh water, as well. Did you know that Salt water and fresh water have very different plant and animal life? There are also a few complex fish that can live in both salt water and fresh water. Salt water and fresh water actually have some similarities along with many differences besides salt.

Some of the chemical properties are the same between salt water and fresh water. Salt water and fresh water have the same molecular structure (Brittanica). Since they have the same structure, they can change states. Both salt water and fresh water can exist in three states. Those three states are liquid, gas, and solid or water, steam, and ice (Water 10). The temperature, at which water needs to be to change states, depends on atmospheric pressure (Water Encyclopedia).

Along with similar properties there are differences as well. Salt water, on average, is about 96.5% water, 2.5% dissolved salt, and smaller percentages of organic substances and inorganic substances (Britannica). Not all salt water is the same. Some water has so little salt that it is almost fresh water. Other bodies of water are very salty like the Dead Sea, one of the lowest and saltiest seas in the world (Worldwide Traveler). Fresh water is simply water. Salt water, or sea water, is about 2.5% denser than fresh water (Wise Geek). Density, the compactness of molecules or heaviness of water, increases with salt content and depth, typically (Water 70). Freezing water, fresh or salt, also has an effect on the density and often makes it less dense. Salt water also tends to have a higher viscosity, the measure of the extent resists the force tending to cause the fluid to flow (Dictionary). This is caused by the salinity of the sea water (Britannica). Along with salt, sea water also contains magnesium, potassium, and calcium (Britannica). Sea water has a lower freezing temperature and a higher boiling temperature than fresh water (Britannica). Chemical and physical properties include some of the fascinating differences along with similarities, but aren’t nearly as entertaining as the fish that live in fresh water versus the fish that live in salt water.

Salt water has a lot of interesting creatures that live in it amongst the plants. Many of the fish in salt water have unique abilities. Mandarin fish are one of the colorful fish known for their ability to camouflage themselves. Barracudas have sharp teeth and have been known to attack humans when aggravated. Cardinal fish have over 331 species that live in the ocean. There are about 360 species of sharks that live in salt water across the world. Angler fish live in the deep ocean and have sort of “flashlight” sticking off of their head. Stingrays are flat bodied fish that are very poisonous if provoked. When a puffer fish is provoked, it will puff up and its spikes will come out. The Sloane’s viperfish is interesting because of its light organ along its bodies. Two of the brightly colored fish in the sea, are the butterfly fish and trigger fish. Parrot fish are known because of the chomping sound they make when eating coral. Eels, toadfish, groupers, species of crabs, species of dolphins, and species of whales are a few more of the creatures that live in salt water. The organisms in the ocean play an important role in survival of the plants. Animals put out carbon dioxide that plants take in. Some of the creatures in the sea, like the harlequin ghost pipefish, resemble the coral and plants so it is easy to get confused (Discovery). Although they resemble plant life in the ocean, they are completely different than the actual things! Salt water life may seem...

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