Common Questions Kids Ask About the Beach
A trip to the beach raises many questions.
Kids tend to ask these questions out loud. But we bet you have asked yourself (or Google) the same things!
Today we are going to try to answer some of the questions kids ask while visiting the beach. It's such a great launching point for fun, scientific questions that will have your family learning, even while you are on vacation.
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Why is it always windy at the beach?
Wind happens when you have warm land and a cool ocean, or a warm ocean and cool land! Basically, the warm and cool meet and create windy conditions! Better known as the "sea breeze", that cool ocean wind meets the warm land of the beach and creates wind.... and the larger the difference between the two temperatures, the stronger the wind. Learn more.
Where does sand come from?
Sand is really nothing more than broken down rocks and minerals, battered over the years by rain, wind, and waves.
Have you ever looked at sand up close? Bring a magnifying glass next time you hit the beach and take a detailed look. You will be amazed at the beauty and structure of the little grains of sand.
Want to learn more facts about sand that you never thought to ask? Read this blog, 10 Fantastic Facts for Fans of the Sand!
Why is the ocean salty?
The salt in the ocean comes from both rocks on the surface of the earth AND from little openings in the sea floor! Salty little ions (chloride and sodium) are eroded away by rain and they trickle into the oceans. And on the sea floor? Super cool underwater volcanic eruptions and magma heat up all those crazy minerals which disperse them into the water. Learn more.
The salinity (saltiness) of the water will depend on how much rain you have been seeing, the temperatures, and how much water is evaporating at the time. On average, the ocean is about 3.5% salt. It can feel like more when you get a mouthful of seawater, though!
What causes waves & tides?
Waves and tides are a big part of your beach vacation. Waves can cause serious safety concerns, especially if you are visiting the beach with small children. And tides are something to keep in mind if you are planning an on-the-water activity like swimming, boating, or fishing.
Waves are caused by the wind... the wind's energy is simply transferred to the water! Learn more facts about waves and tides in our blog, Fast Facts About Waves and Tides.
How are seashells made?
You guys. Do you have five minutes? You should watch this super cool video that explains how seashells are actually formed.
Made of calcium carbonate (yep - chalk), the formation of a seashell is one of nature's most amazing inventions.
They are created through a process of chemical layering that will blow your mind. Seashells grow from the inside out, so that they can grow with the animal.
Learn more about seashells in our blog, Seashell Facts That Will Impress Your Curious Kids.
Is that really the ocean I can hear in my seashell?
Afraid not. The shape of a seashell is perfect for amplifying any noise or air that happens to be swirling around at the moment. This is especially true of large, spiral shaped conch shells. If you put a shell up to your ear, make sure you check to make sure no one is living within! That could be a weird surprise.
How deep is the ocean?
Way deeper than you think!
The ocean floor sits at around 36,000 feet (that's almost 7 miles).
And there is life down there! Although humans have only explored maybe 5-10% of the ocean, it is estimated that there are THOUSANDS of species we haven't even heard of yet!
So, the ocean is super deep in spots, however, on average, the ocean is only 2.3 miles deep. Still, that is pretty amazing (and a good reason to always wear your life jacket).
Why is the ocean blue?
After all, when a kid colors a picture of the ocean, they always reach for the blue crayon! The ocean isn't actually blue, of course, but it appears that way on a clear day because the water is absorbing certain colors in the light spectrum. The water absorbs the red, leaving behind the blue for us to see! Learn more.
The beach is a great place to get in touch with nature and arouse your curious nature. Click around our blog for more articles like this - we love to dive deep when it comes to the ocean, the beach, sea creatures, weather, nature – everything!
Come visit Sunset Beach and catch the wave - it's contagious.