Why does seawater taste salty?

Why Sea Water Tastes Salty – If there is a joke question about why sea water tastes salty, the answer must be original but also true, because there is salt in it. There is even a study which suggests that the salt content in seawater is an average of 3.5 percent.

This means that every 1000 ml of seawater will contain 35 grams of salt. Therefore, many people who live on the coast rely on salt from sea water.

Then, why does sea water taste salty? How is the use of salty sea water for humans? If sea water is polluted, is the salt content also polluted?

So, so that Sinaumed’s isn’t curious about this, let’s look at the following review!

Explanation Why Sea Water Tastes Salty

Actually, the water doesn’t have to taste salty, but it can also taste fresh. Even though it turns out that fresh water also contains salt levels but not too high, namely below 0.5 ppt.

The main reason why seawater has a salty taste is because its salt content or salinity is very high, around 3.5 percent. The salt content includes chloride (55%), sulfate (8%), sodium (31%), magnesium (4%), potassium (1%), and the rest is bicarbonate, bromide, boric acid, fluoride, strontium approx. 1%.

However, not all seawater has the same salt content in every place. Then where does the salt content in seawater come from? Is it suddenly salty? Of course not, there are two sources for the salt content to reach the seawater, namely by the phenomenon of rain and hydrothermal fluids.

Through the Phenomenon of Rain

Sinaumed’s must be no stranger to the origins of rain, right? Yep, this material has always been discussed since elementary school because the presence of rain is very familiar to everyday human life.

When sea water is exposed to the sun’s heat, the sea water will evaporate “up” and form clouds. The clouds are blown by the wind towards the mainland. After the water droplets in the cloud form grow larger, the droplets will fall to the surface of the earth. That is what is called the rain process, in simple terms.

So, when the falling water mixes with carbon dioxide from the surrounding air, it makes it slightly acidic and can even erode rocks. Apart from eroding rocks, it turns out that rainwater can also break down minerals and ions in rocks.

The mineral and ion content will later be carried away by the river flow and eventually towards the sea. Please note, if these minerals and ions accumulate, they can cause a salty taste, so that’s what makes seawater taste salty.

This process occurs for a long time and continues repeatedly until without us knowing it, the minerals and ions will be “recycled” making seawater taste very salty.

Through Hydrothermal Fluids

The next source of the salty taste in seawater is the presence of hydrothermal fluids originating from vents on the seabed. Please note that on the seabed, there is a kind of crack that is shaped like a vent.

The existence of a vent on the seabed causes seawater to seep down to the seabed, then it is heated by magma that comes from the earth’s core. When you get volcanic heating (because of the size of the earth’s core), a chemical reaction will occur.

The chemical reaction in the form of water will release oxygen, sulfate, magnesium, and other minerals, then add ions or salt content to seawater. Therefore, the salt content in seawater will increase, causing seawater to taste very salty.

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Factors Influencing Seawater Salinity

Seawater salinity is the amount of salt content contained in seawater, which of course each region has a different salinity. Many factors affect the salinity of seawater in the waters of the entire planet, namely:

1. Evaporation

As previously explained, the salty taste of seawater comes from the rain phenomenon. In the phenomenon of rain, there is a process of evaporation or evaporation. The greater the evaporation rate of seawater, the higher the salinity level will be. Conversely, if the evaporation rate of seawater is low, then the salinity level will also be lower.

2. At least many rivers that flow

The more rivers that empty into the sea, the lower the salinity of sea water. Conversely, if there are a few rivers that empty into the sea, the salinity level of seawater will also be higher.

3. Rainfall

The greater the rainfall in an area, the higher the salinity of seawater will be. Conversely, if the rainfall in the ocean is low, then the level of salinity will also be lower.

4. Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon dioxide is the main element in the process of photosynthesis, especially needed by phytoplankton and aquatic plants. Carbon dioxide can also be formed in water by the process of decomposition (decomposition) of organic matter by microorganisms. This usually occurs in polluted water.

5.Magnesium (Mg)

The magnesium content in seawater is around 1,300 ppm, in addition to sodium. Even sea algae and oysters also contain Magnesium which is 6000-20,000 ppm and 1,200 ppm respectively.

6. DO (Dissolved Oxygen)

DO (Dissolved Oxygen) is dissolved oxygen, also known as Oxygen Demand. This is one of the elements to analyze water quality.

The greater the DO value in water, the better the water quality will be. Conversely, if the DO value is low, it can be seen that the water has been polluted.

7. Calcium (Ca)

The presence of Ca content in water with a certain level, is very useful for the growth of bones and teeth. However, if excessive, it can cause corrosive effects.

8. Aluminum

The maximum limit for aluminum content in water is about 0.2 mg/l. If it is more than that, the taste of the water will be unpleasant for consumption.

9. Sulfates

Excessive sulfate content in water can cause scale to form in the water boiling pot. In addition, it can also cause odors that even cause corrosion in pipes.

10. Organic Substances

Actually, the organic matter in the water comes from food nutrients and other energy sources for the flora and fauna that live in the waters. However, if you overdo it, it can also cause an unpleasant odor that can make your stomach ache when consumed.

11. Nitrates and Nitrites

The large amount of nitrate in the water will hinder the passage of oxygen in the human body that consumes it.

Utilization of Sea Water for Life

The existence of sea water certainly provides many benefits for everyday human life. Not even for human life, but also for this planet earth. What are the benefits of sea water besides being used as a land to earn rupiah coffers?

Come on, see the following reviews!

Benefits of Sea Water for Planet Earth

  • Acts as a climate controller on Earth, namely by transferring heat from the equator towards the poles.
  • The source of the rain, both on land and in the ocean itself.
  • Hot ocean currents can improve climate, especially in the areas passed by these currents.
  • Shallow seas make climate temperatures and droughts not just happen.
  • Cold currents cause climate, especially in desert areas.

Benefits of the Sea for Humans

1. As a Food Source

In the sea there are lots of marine animals and plants which of course can be consumed by humans, and even have a high nutritional content. Call it fish and seaweed. Even health experts also recommend consuming fish frequently because it is proven to make the body healthy.

2. As a Place of Recreation

Recreational activities can not only be done on land, but also in the ocean. The view of sea water which is dominated by blue color is the people’s favorite choice to relieve fatigue from daily activities. Moreover, coupled with a breezy wind.

3. As a Transportation Field

Continents, countries, to provinces throughout the planet are actually separated by oceans. Especially in countries that have ocean territory, to go from one place to another must use means of transportation.

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Therefore, the ocean was chosen as the field for this means of transportation. Many are aware that sea transportation has a major impact on human life.

4. As a Defense and Security Tool 

Especially for Indonesia, which is an archipelagic country, will definitely rely on sea waters to maintain the integrity of this nation and state. Other countries that want to come to this country must use sea transportation in the form of ships.

Well, the existence of fishermen will also play an important role in maintaining the sovereignty and integrity of the state, namely by participating in supervising water areas.

5. As a Sports Facility

Apart from being a means of recreation, sea water is also useful as a means of sports, one of which is surfing or surfing. This sport takes advantage of large ocean waves.

6. Source of Energy

Large oceans can actually be a source of energy for human survival. Especially the waves and powerful currents can be used as energy to turn turbines to generate electricity.

7. As a means of education and research

It should be noted that to date, only 5 percent of the oceans have been successfully explored and researched by humans. The rest, still leaves many unsolved questions and mysteries of nature.

Therefore, the oceans and their contents will be useful as a means of human education and research in order to take advantage of the natural wealth of the sea.

8. As a Source of Minerals and Mining

Not only as a source of food, it turns out that the ocean can also act as a source of minerals and mining, for example oil and other natural minerals. However, even in obtaining it should not be arbitrary, so that the ocean ecosystem is still maintained.

9. As a Source of Drugs

The existence of marine biota and plants turns out to contain many substances that are useful for healing several diseases, you know…

For example, seaweed, which is often known as a healthy food, also has benefits for health and beauty.



Sea Water Pollution

Unfortunately, increasingly here, sea water has actually been polluted by various substances and other components causing the quality of the water to decline. Based on Government Regulation No. 20 Article 1 paragraph 2 of 1990 concerning Water Pollution Control, it explains that water pollution is the process of entering or inserting living things, substances, energy, and other components into water, through human activities, causing the water quality to decrease to to a certain level, causing water to no longer function according to its designation. 

Previously, the benefits of sea water have been explained for human life and the planet earth. Then, if the water becomes polluted, of course, these benefits cannot be recovered because the condition of sea water becomes unfit.

Usually this water pollution comes from the remains of sewage obtained by household activities and industrial activities. The remains of the sewage disposal contain toxic substances such as acids, bases, to agricultural chemicals. These toxic substances are of course very dangerous when consumed by humans.

Impact of Sea Water Pollution

According to Hartanto (2008), sea water pollution has many negative impacts on human survival, namely:

1. Damage to Beach Aesthetics

Not only is the sea water polluted, but also the rocks and sand. Beach sand that has been exposed to pollution tends to turn black in color.

2. Decreasing Algae and Protozoa Populations

This is caused by contact with slick poison or layers of oil on the surface of sea water. Slicks generally make the sea surface calmer and attract birds to land on it.

When there is contact between the slick and a living creature, the oil will seep into the living creature’s body and damage the organ system, then it dies.

3. Inhibited Growth of Marine Phytoplankton

If the amount of phytoplankton decreases, the population of fish, shrimp and shellfish will also decrease. If that’s the case, then the human need for high protein foods will be difficult to obtain.

4. Biological Damage

In this case, the effects can be lethal and sublethal. Lethal effects are reactions that occur when physical and chemical substances interfere with cell processes in living things to the point of causing death.

Then, sublethal effects affect the physiological and behavioral damage of living things, but do not result in direct death. For example, coral reefs that have experienced lethal and sublethal effects, the healing process will take a long time due to the complexity of the community.

Well, that’s an explanation of why sea water can taste salty and the impact that humans feel when sea water is polluted. As future generations, it is appropriate for us to maintain the preservation and cleanliness of sea water from pollution, especially from toxic substances which of course have a bad effect on the health of living things that consume them.