Saltwater vs. Freshwater

Saltwater vs. Freshwater

Have you ever gone to the beach and wondered, why can I drink freshwater but not salt water? Maybe, you have wondered how or why they’re so different? Both are very different, and are used by different species. The Earth is made up of water. If you were to take pictures of our planet from outer space it would look like a blue marble of water beauty.


Saltwater is made of freshwater that passes over land collecting the minerals from rocks and sediments. Which wash away with the flowing water, this water eventually ends up in our oceans. The levels of salt in the ocean under the surface are made up of the ocean’s circulation, seawater density, and temperature. When it rains the surface’s salt is reduced. The surfaces of saltwater tend to be warmer, because the colder water will have sunken to the bottom being that it is more dense.

Earth is 71% of saltwater, making 50%-80% of all life is found under water in our oceans. 1.5 million of ocean species have been successfully classified. While humans cannot live in saltwater, many of these species can only live in saltwater, for example the largest mammal on earth, the blue whale. Much of the plant life are made up of tiny algae called Phytoplankton which produce half of the oxygen that humans, and land residents breathe. Most of underwater creatures 95% tend to be invertebrates like shrimp, and hermit crabs.


Freshwater is essential to us as humans. Less than 3% of our water supply on earth is actually freshwater. Most of this freshwater is actually in glaciers and icecaps. Freshwater found in lakes or any ground freshwater makes up ay only 0.3%. While more than 99% of living things on earth use this water. A common misconception is that freshwater has no salt in it, when in reality it does. Freshwater contains less than 1% of salt in it, making it usable to living things. There are many animals that can live in fresh water, many are fish, but can vary from ducks to crocodiles.

While there are many species out there that can thrive off both freshwater and saltwater, humans cannot. Sodium in large amounts can be deadly for humans. Freshwater is key to human survival not only for digestion but for crops, powering homes, and many other things. We need to preserve our freshwater habitats because they are vanishing at an alarming rate. There are many things that can be done to protect our freshwater, with the right education, we can all make a difference in preserving our water.

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