Oceans' Salt Would Bury the Continents

Really. If the salt in the sea could be removed and spread evenly over the Earth's land surface it would form a layer more than 500 feet thick, about the height of a 40-story office building.

If that doesn't impress you, try this example; if the oceans dried up, the salt left behind would supply a wall 180 miles wide and 1 mile high around the equator.

Most of this salt is sodium chloride, the same stuff you put on your food.

How does it get into the oceans? Mostly, it washed into the seas through gradual erosion over billions of years. The dissolving action of rains and streams transported the mineral to the sea. Smaller amounts of salt came from rocks and sediments below the ocean's floor as well as from solid and gaseous materials escaping the Earth's crust through volcanic vents.

Then, saltiness is reinforced by the Sun's heat. It evaporates pure water from the surface of the sea and leaves the salts behind.

So we've certainly got enough cheap salt to last us. Pass the pepper please.



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