November 20, 2011

Water Around the World

Families frequently contact us for help in finding out about places that relate to special topics that interest them. As a result we’ve researched many different topics and uncovered a whole bunch of really good information.

Recently we worked with a family on — WATER! 

Water around the world is fascinating!!! And it's well worth getting to know. Here are a few “water places” we think you and your children will enjoy learning about and perhaps exploring. 

Why not check them out ---


Do you know how the Dead Sea got its name? Well, it’s because of all the salt in the water! It is the saltiest body of water on Earth, with almost nine times more than the average amount of salt in ocean water. Due to its high salinity (the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water), no fish or macroscopic organisms can live in it. Because of its unusually high amount of salt, anyone can easily float in the Dead Sea. Another unusual characteristic of the Dead Sea is the release of asphalt. Asphalt?!! Yes, asphalt!! From deep tiny holes, the Dead Sea constantly spits up small pebbles of black asphalt. So why would you want to visit this seemingly disgusting body of water? Because the Dead Sea also has minerals in the waters that are good for your skin! Floating in it is healthy and good for you.

Where Is It Exactly?

If you want to find this unique sea, look on a map for the countries of Israel and Jordan. The Dead Sea is the border between these two countries.



Do you know what a Bosphorus is? And that is separates the continents of Europe and Asia? Well, it is a 20 mile-(32 km) long strait (a narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water). It can be almost 400 feet (120 m) deep but it averages around 200 feet (60m). The word Bosphorus means “crossing-place of the cow,” and its name comes from a Greek legend about Zeus. The Bosphorus has been a waterway of the highest importance since ancient times, with leaders, conquerors, and armies traveling along it. Today, the way to enjoy the Bosphorus is to take a cruise by traditional ferry or TurYol boat. This waterway is absolutely beautiful!!

Where Is It Exactly?

It’s in Turkey. It runs right through the city of Istanbul, then continues north through the countryside of Turkey to the Black Sea. All-in-all, it runs from the Sea of Marmara, to the south, to the Black Sea, to the north.



How many oceans are on Earth? If you answered 5, you would be correct! The Southern Ocean is also known as the Antarctic Ocean, or the South Polar Ocean. It is located completely in the Earth’s southern hemisphere and surrounds Antarctica. It doesn’t have an exact northern boundary. Instead, the ocean zone fluctuates seasonally from the meeting of two currents that go around the South Pole. If you have never heard of this ocean, it’s probably because its name was just accepted in 2000.

The Southern Ocean is in many respects the exact opposite of the Arctic Ocean. See if you can find out what this means.

Where Is It Exactly?

Look on a world map for Antarctica. Then search for the Oceans that are above it and seem to meet right at it --- the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The southern parts of these three great oceans have water that acts differently than the rest of their water. It goes around the continent of Antarctica.



This major ship canal (a man-made channel for water) opened in 1914 and is very important if you want to ship cargo to places around the world. Why is so important to shipping? Well, it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and provides a shortcut for ships trying to get from one ocean to the other. Instead of sailing all the way around South America, they can simply travel through the Panama Canal. Constructing the canal was one of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever attempted! It is now used by many shipping vessels each day. A ship traveling from New York to San Francisco, CA has a much shorter distance to travel via the Panama Canal. The trip is about 6,000 mi (9,500 km) long instead of the previous 14,000 mi (22,500 km) around South America. Usually, it will take a cargo ship about 9 hours to pass through the canal. Although the canal is not only for cargo ships . . . cruise ships pass through the canal as well!

Where Is It Exactly?

The Panama Canal is in the country of Panama in Central America. It’s the southern most country in Central America. It touches South America.


Between which two countries does Niagara Falls create the border? The United States and Canada! The Falls is not just one waterfall, but a set of three massive waterfalls. The closest major cities are Buffalo, New York in the United States and Toronto in Canada. The Falls were formed when glaciers from the Ice Age receded and water from the Great Lakes carved a path to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America. It has been a popular tourist site for over a century. It is not only popular for its beauty, but the Falls are also a valuable source of hydroelectric power for Ontario Province (where Toronto is) in Canada and for the state of New York in the United States.