Table salt

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A magnified crystal of salt

Table salt is a mineral composed mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl). This is a chemical compound, one of a large number of salts. Salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite.

When salt (sodium chloride) is mixed with water, the salt dissolves into the water, creating a saline solution. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. The open ocean has about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per litre, a salinity of 3.5%.

Salt can be made by either evaporation or can be mined. To get sea salt, man-made holes are built then filled with sea water. The water evaporates and leaves behind salt.