Water is the most mysterious and at the same time the most importantto sustain life on the planet substance. She has no smell, no color, but the existence of any life in the form in which we know it, without water, would simply be reduced to zero. One of the unique qualities of water is its ability to maintain underwater life thanks to an interesting natural anomaly, in which ice covers a mass of water, preventing it from completely freezing. According to ordinary physical laws, everything should happen exactly the opposite, and a substance that has been in solid form for a long time should be at the bottom, and not on the surface. So why does water violate the basic laws of physics?
Why is ice not sinking?
It is believed that the unique ability of ice is notgo under water due to the appearance in it of a special crystal lattice, which is often enriched with tiny air bubbles. The ice cover, gradually spreading from the shores of the reservoir to its very center, reliably protects all inhabitants from severe frosts, while maintaining a positive temperature under the ice dome.
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Theoretically, any, even the largest body of water,can freeze up to the very day subject to certain natural and temperature conditions. In normal times, even a small pond with a maximum depth of about three meters is not able to freeze to the bottom due to the fact that when the water reaches a critical mark of +4 degrees Celsius, an intensive process of moving layers begins in the pond / lake / river and other similar reservoirs. different temperatures. The coldest water layers gradually rise up, while the warmer begin to fall down. As the average temperature decreases, ice gradually forms on the surface of the reservoir, which stops the process of moving water layers of different temperatures and prevents the under-ice world from completely freezing.
Can living organisms survive in ice?
Although for the human bodya long stay at low temperatures is fraught with death, for some amphibians even very long frosts are not afraid. So, frogs and newts have a unique ability to freeze directly into ice without any consequences for their health. Ordinary pond frogs in the cold season fall into suspended animation and defrost themselves only with the first rays of the warm sun. Amphibians received such natural superpower as a result of a long evolution, which gave their organisms a special natural antifreeze. The presence of antifreeze in the frog's body helps prevent the formation of tiny ice crystals, which are the main cause of death of living cells.
Can the ocean freeze?
As mentioned above, subject tomodern climatic conditions, even the shallowest pond is not able to completely freeze. However, let's try to imagine that as a result of a natural disaster on Earth, all the oceans froze to the bottom. Can this really happen?
It is known that the freezing temperature of salt waterdepends on the level of its salinity. So, with the average amount of sea salt in the water, the usual temperature at which the ocean begins to become covered with a thin crust of ice becomes about -2 ... -4 degrees Celsius. Despite the fact that our planet during different eras experienced many large and small ice ages, the oceans of our planet never froze to the bottom. Warm ocean currents even in the coldest years of the Earth helped maintain seawater in a liquid state. In other words, the possibility that once the oceans of the planet are completely frozen is reduced to absolute zero.
By the way, did you know that on PlutoDoes it have its own icy ocean of liquid water? If such a distant object could keep its water resources in a liquid state, then our planet has nothing to worry about in this regard. In any case, let's try to fantasize in our Telegram chat what could happen to humanity if the oceans of our planet somehow somehow completely froze.