SirGeneralSir

salt water needed for life?

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in this other story im working on, a thought has come to mind.

does a planet need an abundance of salt water to create life like our planet, or could a planet exist that has very little salt water, sort of an inversion of earths salt and fresh water

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Sodium is an essential electrolyte, necessary for several things: maintaining stable blood pressure; maintaining the balance of water in and around cells; and proper nerve and muscle function. We ingest sodium chloride to supply our bodies’ needs.

Now, in a world with limited salt water, how will your population find salt? Most sodium on Earth is produced from rock salt mines, which could be a source for your world. It’s also produced by evaporating salt water or brine from salt lakes and brine wells. These methods would have limited use in your world. But, interestingly, you might have set up a very nice commodity/scarce resource scenario… :D

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You could consider that the level of salt in living creatures could with great probability be an effect of the cells trying to maintain the same balance as they used to have back when life was created. A world with very little salt water in circulation would probably have creatures that have different strategies to survive.

If a person from an ordinary world end there they might be in for some challenge when they have trouble to find the sodium chloride they need to survive.

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::nods:: They’d need an alternative electrolyte, presuming they have a similar method of transmitting neural impulses. And sodium deficiency in any Earth-native hominids would be quite the issue, as @Thundercloud says. Lots to play with here…:D

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On 3/31/2019 at 1:40 PM, SirGeneralSir said:

in this other story im working on, a thought has come to mind.

does a planet need an abundance of salt water to create life like our planet, or could a planet exist that has very little salt water, sort of an inversion of earths salt and fresh water

There are hypothetical other elements other than water that could support life. 

biochemistry does require electrolytes. In a world like that with a small amount of salt water. Life would be concentrated in and near the saltwater areas in natural biozones. Leaving the rest of the planet quite barren, sterile and lifeless. Until, and if life evolved the ability to carry the primordial soup of life with it (blood, sap etc..)

Even then. Salt would easily be the most expensive and most precious resource.  As without it, life wouldn’t exist.

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On 4/8/2019 at 3:03 AM, SirGeneralSir said:

this world is a kind of alternate Earth, 90% of the life here is there and then some extra ones (dragons etc)

You have way more liberty then. Depending on which extinction events happened or didn’t. Life’s inevitable evolutions would be beyond the ability to anticipate or imagine cept those who could gaze into the infinite without getting lost. Haha.

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I read a book years ago, where there were no bodies of water on the surface of the planet. The only way to get it was from huge cactus like trees that had roots long enough to reach the water beneath the surface. 

My reason for telling you this is because nature has a way of adapting/evolving to suit the environment. Plus, the fact you are writing fiction is clear in the presense of dragons. That allows you leeway to create the world as you need it to be. Look at all the Muggles in Harry Potter that rarely seem to notice all the weird things going on. In real life, that type of thing would have been noticed to a much greater extent than it was in the movies and books.

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