This may sound like an overly simple answer, but saltwater is water with salt in it. If you take a glass of water from your kitchen and add salt, youíve got saltwater.
Salts (both ordinary table salt and other salts) are chemicals that fall apart into electrically charged particles (called ions) in water. One big difference between salt water and plain water is that these ions make the salt water conduct electricity much better than pure water.
The seawater in the ocean has a lot of other interesting things in it than just salt, though - in addition to fish, plants, and plankton (microscopic sea critters), thereís all sorts of minerals and other elements. For a detailed list, look here
One of the really neat things about saltwater is that things float in it more easily than in regular water. For example, there is an especially high concentration of salt in the Dead Sea
, so itís very easy to float there.
-Tamara (and Mike)
(republished on 07/12/06)