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# How can an object Float in Fluid Y which has a specific density greater than water and yet sink in Fluid X which has a specific density less than water?

Updated: 9/22/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

There is nothing strange about the fact that a given object can float in a denser substance and sink in a substance which is less dense. Objects float when the amount of liquid that they displace weighs as much as the object. So the denser the liquid, the less liquid has to be displaced in order for an object to float. If an object is fully submersed and still cannot displace enough liquid to equal its own weight, then it sinks. This will happen any time an object is in a liquid which is less dense than the object. If the liquid is more dense than the object, the object can float in it.

Also note that the density of an object includes any air which the object contains. Hollow objects become less dense. Boats float even when they are built of dense materials, because their shape allows them to include a lot of air when they are displacing water. But if the boat leaks, water can fill the space that is supposed to be filled with air, and then the boat sinks. It is very logical.

Wiki User

11y ago