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  • Ok fellow science nerds. I encountered this "puzzle" the other night and I'd like others to chime in on my thinking.

    Proposed question. Does a boat (the same boat), ride higher, lower or the same in the Mediterranean Sea than it does at the equator in the Atlantic Ocean.

    1st Answer (which was my initial instinct), It will ride higher because the Med Sea has more salinity, thereby increasing the buoyancy.

    2nd Answer proposed by a "professor", it would ride lower because the earth is an oblate spheroid and in the Med Sea the boat would be closer to the center of earth, thus it would get pulled down harder by gravity.

    A person with the first answer proposed that the 2nd answer is wrong because the increased gravity is the same for the water. Thus negating the effect.

    Now for my full analyses, and this is where I'd like someone else to chime and tell me where I go astray if I do.

    As far as I know the increased gravity on the water would have no effect on the buoyancy, as that is more related to density (hence > salinity = greater buoyancy). Therefore, the gravity argument on the boat is still valid. However, the oblateness of the earth is so miniscule that it would probably be irrelevant, or at least have less of an effect than the salinity. Therefore, final answer is it would either ride higher, but maybe only so much that it basically amounts to "the same".

    Thoughts?

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    • The boat would ride higher at the equator. The boat would be boosted by the salinity (making water's mass thicker) and the boat would effectively weigh less at the equator.

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      • https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsan...mon-had-airpl?

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        • I think this goes here: https://www.wavingthewheat.org/forum...science-thread

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          • Originally posted by JayhawkLifer View Post
            What, you don't believe in Ancient Aliens?

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            • Originally posted by RaiderHawk View Post

              What, you don't believe in Ancient Aliens?
              Dude, that’s racist. They’re called Mayans.

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              • Originally posted by WolfShirtSophomore View Post
                Ok fellow science nerds. I encountered this "puzzle" the other night and I'd like others to chime in on my thinking.

                Proposed question. Does a boat (the same boat), ride higher, lower or the same in the Mediterranean Sea than it does at the equator in the Atlantic Ocean.

                1st Answer (which was my initial instinct), It will ride higher because the Med Sea has more salinity, thereby increasing the buoyancy.

                2nd Answer proposed by a "professor", it would ride lower because the earth is an oblate spheroid and in the Med Sea the boat would be closer to the center of earth, thus it would get pulled down harder by gravity.

                A person with the first answer proposed that the 2nd answer is wrong because the increased gravity is the same for the water. Thus negating the effect.

                Now for my full analyses, and this is where I'd like someone else to chime and tell me where I go astray if I do.

                As far as I know the increased gravity on the water would have no effect on the buoyancy, as that is more related to density (hence > salinity = greater buoyancy). Therefore, the gravity argument on the boat is still valid. However, the oblateness of the earth is so miniscule that it would probably be irrelevant, or at least have less of an effect than the salinity. Therefore, final answer is it would either ride higher, but maybe only so much that it basically amounts to "the same".

                Thoughts?
                Assuming constant salinity, I think the boat would ride higher at the equator. Like you said, it would be farther away from the center of earth's mass and thus would be slightly lighter. Gravity would not have the same effect on water, so that part of the equation would stay constant in the Mediterranean and the equator.

                I could be wrong, however.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by sean View Post
                  The boat would ride higher at the equator. The boat would be boosted by the salinity (making water's mass thicker) and the boat would effectively weigh less at the equator.
                  Salinity is higher in the Med Sea.

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                  • Originally posted by WolfShirtSophomore View Post

                    Salinity is higher in the Med Sea.
                    Do you think that was meant to be factored into the puzzle? If so, why did they specifically mention the equator?

                    If that's the case, then the riddle is impossible to solve with the given information. Does the buoyancy conferred by the extra salinity override the effect of being at the equator? How would we know unless we are given that information.

                    I stand by my original answer!

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                    • Originally posted by GardArmighty View Post

                      Do you think that was meant to be factored into the puzzle? If so, why did they specifically mention the equator?

                      If that's the case, then the riddle is impossible to solve with the given information. Does the buoyancy conferred by the extra salinity override the effect of being at the equator? How would we know unless we are given that information.

                      I stand by my original answer!
                      Did you read the original post? Salinity was the key factor in answer #1.

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                      • Originally posted by FrobozMumbar View Post

                        Did you read the original post? Salinity was the key factor in answer #1.
                        But I submit that salinity wasn't in the spirit of the original riddle. You can't ask a question with 2 variable, one of which is an unknown value. Just because WSS considered it in one of his answers doesn't mean that's what the questioner intended! Maybe WSS always makes things more complicated than they need to be. We don't know. WE. DON'T. KNOW.

                        I STAND MY MY ORIGINAL ANSWER!!!!

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                        • OK, here's a similar question. Who weighs more? Bill on Earth, or Lisa on a different planet?

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                          • Originally posted by GardArmighty View Post
                            OK, here's a similar question. Who weighs more? Bill on Earth, or Lisa on a different planet?
                            Bill obviously. Lisa is probably dead.

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                            • Originally posted by GardArmighty View Post

                              But I submit that salinity wasn't in the spirit of the original riddle. You can't ask a question with 2 variable, one of which is an unknown value. Just because WSS considered it in one of his answers doesn't mean that's what the questioner intended! Maybe WSS always makes things more complicated than they need to be. We don't know. WE. DON'T. KNOW.

                              I STAND MY MY ORIGINAL ANSWER!!!!
                              Calm down NdGT, you aren't on trial here.

                              It's not so much a puzzle as a debate about gravity's effects. I agree, that without exact numbers in front of us we can't know the full true answer. I'm mostly trying to settle the question of whether or not gravity's effect on the water would come in to play here. I don't think it does, but I'm open to the possibility if someone can explain how. And if it doesn't come into play, then the answer just becomes a matter of which has a greater effect, the increased salinity of the Med sea or the increased pull on the boat, which you need numbers to answer. And that answer could show that the 2 effects cancel eachother out.

                              Capeche?

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                              • No.


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