Contact: Kevin Stacey
Caption: Antarctica's Don Juan Pond, the world's saltiest body of water, needs its salt to keep from freezing into oblivion. Researchers from Brown University show that water sucked out of the atmosphere by parched, salty soil is the source of the saltwater brine that keeps the pond from freezing. Combine that with some fresh water flowing in from melting snow, and you've got a pond capable of persisting in one of the coldest and driest places on Earth. The video shows water absorbed from the air by salt on the ground. The water track can be seen forming as soon as the humidity level (shown on the right) spikes.
Credit: Head Lab/Brown University/Scientific Reports
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Related news release: Scientists discover how the world's saltiest pond gets its salt