Fun Facts About Rock Salt

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Rock salt is a common mineral used in our daily lives. Most people don’t know much about rock salt and how it may differ from table salt. Here are some fun facts about the common mineral rock salt.

Salt

Another name for salt is halite, which is the Greek word for salt. The chemical formula of “salt” is sodium chloride. It is a rock rather than a mineral because it has other mineral impurities. Rock salt is the least processed form of salt. This is what makes it different than what we have on our dinner tables. The salt at our dinner tables is purified salt, consisting of only sodium chloride, and any necessary nutritional additives such as iodine.

Rock salt is formed from evaporated lake beds and seas; this is how oceans regulate their salt content. It can also be mined from underground beds. One of the largest salt mines in the world is the Sifto Salt Mine in Ontario, Canada.

Forming Process

Halite forms a cubic crystal that is white or colorless however, it can appear to have various colors due to impurities or isotopic differences. A commonly known rock is pink Himalayan salt.

Salt has a deep history. It was of high value to many ancient civilizations. The city of Rome built roads for the transportation of salt to the capital. In Britain, cities that served as a source of salt were named with the suffix “-wich.”

Today society has any uses for salt. It can be purified to make edible table salt. This salt melts ice and increases road safety in cold weather. This is due to the fact that brine, salt water, has a lower freezing point than water causing the ice to melt. Salt also helps to cure and preserve meats. In addition, in the past, this salt helped to preserve mummies in Ancient Egypt. Rock salt serves multiple services for thousands of years, which we still use today.

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