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Why don’t we drink salt water?

Why don't we drink salt water?

The answer is relatively simple. Our kidneys can’t handle a lot of salt. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service), about 3.5 percent. The weight of the water comes from the dissolved salt. If we remove all the salt from the ocean water and spread it on the surface of the Earth, we will get a layer 166 meters thick, which is the equivalent of a 40-story skyscraper.

Rob DeSale, curator at the Institute for Comparative Genomics Sackler at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City explains that our cells need water in a relatively pure form. Useless or harmful waste is dissolved in water, goes to the bladder, and then exits the body. The problem is that the kidneys can excrete urine that contains less salt than blood. Salt water contains three times this salt. This means that for one glass of salt water, you should drink at least twice the amount so that the kidneys can handle its washing.

Since salt water covers most of the Earth’s surface, one wonders why evolution didn’t condition us to drink it? Well, when the animals came to shore several million years ago, they began to move away from the coast, and therefore from the salt water. On Earth there is mainly fresh water, so living creatures began to adapt to it, refusing to be able to cope with salt water.

However, animals associated with the oceanic ecosystem had to adapt to drinking salt water. Seagulls, albatrosses, and penguins, among others, have this ability. Otherwise, by spending long weeks in the open ocean, they would die of thirst. Their bodies filter the salt before it reaches the stomach. Some mammals also do well in a saltwater environment. These are whales, seals and dolphins.

There is no indication that evolution allowed us to drink salt water again. The only thing left for us is remembering to bottle fresh water or relying on desalination systems.

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