Underwater Ice Cubes

My chemistry teacher told a riddling situation that his friend had discovered during his scuba diving trip in Antarctica that I can’t seem to understand. It’s common knowledge that ice cubes float in water, but he supposedly found an abundance of ice cubes deep underwater on a reef. Why is that so?

At first, I believed that due to the amount of pressure the ice cubes are under, maybe it was prevented them from actually floating. However, if that was so, how did it get all the way down there in the first place? Since there was less water in the beginning, they should be floating on the surface at the start as well, and there’s practically no way that they could have sunk if they had been floating in the beginning. The only theories I have are that it isn’t actually ice cubes of water or the water molecules differ a certain way compared to regular ones, but we can’t know for sure without research.

I found that my prediction was somewhat correct. It’s not ordinary water ice cubes, it’s heavy water ice cubes, which have a greater density than ordinary water. According to Arantius.com, hydrogen atoms always have one proton and one electron, but only one in 6,400 hydrogen atoms has a neutron that doubles the atom’s mass. Heavy water is created when this heavy hydrogen is isolated, creating water that is 10% heavier than your typical water.

There’s also an alternative to what the ice cubes may be, which is salt cubes. The density of salt is much greater than water, so the more salt is added, the lower the freezing point decreases.

Researching on this topic was interesting because I enjoy learning about the world around us, and I’m glad I was able to answer the question that was nagging me all day.


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