What would you like to do?

Why do some things float on water while others do not?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

Because they are less dense than the water.
We call the amount of mass in a given volume of space the density. For instance, we could measure the mass of some fresh water in a container. We would then divide the mass of the water by the volume of the container to find the density. However, if we filled the same container with salt water, it would have more mass because the ocean water has the mass of pure water plus the mass of the salt. Since there is more mass in the same volume, ocean water has a greater density then fresh water.
For something to float, it must have a density that is less than in what it is floating in.
It may seem odd that an enormous ship can float when steel is denser than water. However, if you look at the entire ship you see that there are many places filled with things less dense than water, like air. This means that the density of the entire ship is less dense than that of the water it floats in.

To understand why things less dense then water float in water, go to the question "What is the buoyancy principle?" in the Related Questions section below.
33 people found this useful
Thanks for the feedback!

What make things float in salt water?

Basically, if something is lighter than water, it will float. If the water is somehow made heavier, more things will be lighter than it. If you add a lot of salt to water, the

Why do some solids float on water while others sink?

The density of water is called "1.0" Certain objects have a mass greater than 1.0, therefore they will sink. Objects with densities less than 1.0 will float or remain partly s

Why do some things float in salt water but not in fresh water?

Because salt water can carry more objects than fresh water because the salt in the water makes the water heavier, and because fresh water has nothing in it so it's less heavie

Why do somethings float while others sink?

The object is buoyed up (pushed up) by a force that is equal to the weight of the water that the object occupies that was previously occupied by the water. If you shape th

Why are some balloons able to float while others are not able to?

Balloons that float do so because they are filled with a gas that is lighter than the surrounding air. Balloons that float are typically filled with helium; previously balloon

Why do some objects float in water but others sink?

It depends on their density (mass divided by volume). If the object's density is higher than the density of water, that object sinks. If it's lower, that object will float.

Why do some things float but not others?

Things that are less dense that water float while things that are more dense sink. An object's density has to be less than what it's floating in. If it's less, the object fl

Why do certain objects float in water while other sink?

It is all to do with the density. Water has a density of 1g/cm^3 (1 gram per centimetre cubed). Anything that has a density of less than this will float in water, but anything

Why does some things float on water while others dont?

Some objects will float on water as the density of the object is less than that of water. Conversely, if an object is more dense than the density of water, then it will sink.

What makes things sink or float in the water?

Short Answer Whether something sinks or floats in water depends on how much it weighs. Water weighs one gram for one cubic centimeter, or one kilogram for a liter. Anything th
In Science

What things float in water?

Many things can float in water. An object will float based on 2 main factors. They are density and shape. If an object is too dense, it will sink. But why would shape matter?
In Physics

Why do things sink or float in water?

Objects float or sink because of their density.  An example of an object with low density is a sponge, as it has loads of air bubbles in it, and will float.  An example of
In Science

How do things sink or float in water?

A very interesting phenomenon.  When a body is put on the surface of water, first its bottom surface gets a little bit immersed. So an amount of water vacates from its place
In Science

Why do some materials float while others sink?

A substance will float in a liquid if its density is lower than that of the liquid. Density is defined as the mass per unit volume. If an object sinks it means that its dens