Where Does Salt Come From?

Caption: Hampton Corners Mine mines rock salt near Mt. Morris, New York.

Have you ever played in the ocean? Have you ever gotten any seawater in your mouth? If you have, you know how salty ocean water is. People add salt to many foods. Many people think that salt makes some foods taste better. The salt in your salt shaker at home came from the sea.

In hot, sunny, and dry seashore areas, people have built shallow basins. Seawater is pumped into the basins. The hot sun makes the water evaporate. Liquid water changes into water vapor, a gas we cannot see. Water vapor becomes part of the air around us. The salt that was dissolved in the water is left behind. People collect the salt from the basins. This is called solar mining. The salt is sifted and cleaned. Large chunks of it are ground into small grains. It is packaged and sent to stores for us to buy.

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