Fact: Saltwater in your veins?

Ok, today’s fact about surfing is obvious, bordering on stupid, and yet mildly entertaining.

Despite what crusty old seadogs may tell you, they do not have salt water running through their veins. By “salt water” and in the context of their lifestyle it can generally be inferred that the surfer, sailor, fisherman or beach boy in question is talking about the sea.

Having sea water inside of our circulatory system as a replacement for blood is however not a good idea. Blood has a salinity of 0.9% and sea water averages around 3.5% (35 g/L, or 599 mM) which means ocean juice in your arteries would quickly cause catastrophic kidney failure and leave you resembling a scrotum. Or sundried fruit.

Which explains why you can’t drink sea water, even after being stranded in a dinghy for 48 days, subsisting only on plankton, an unfortunate seagull and your own urine. How lucky that you watched so many episodes of Man vs Wild! And I speak from experience here: Can you imagine the state I was in by the time they rescued me, clinging to my inflatable killer whale, from the deep end of the paddling pool? I vowed never to drink urine agan.

Anyway, myth busted, as they say. Salt water does not run in your veins.

Interestingly, in the South Pacific it has been reported that coconut fluid (the water not the milk) has been used for blood transfusions in the absence of any other suitable plasma.

I want to be a coconut vampire, but only if I can be Jacob.

Salt water, image courtesy of Oceaneye
Salt water, image courtesy of Oceaneye

To purchase the above image visit www.oceaneye.com.au