Why does ice float on water?

Like us on Facebook!

ice floats

If you like it, please share!

Ice floats in the water rather than sinking. The reason is because ice has a lower density (mass per unit volume) compared to water. For example, if you throw a stone in a glass of water, then the stone that has a higher density compared to water will sink. That is, the stone pushes the water out of its way and reaches the bottom.

Why does ice have lower density than water?

Water molecules attract each other and stick together when they get close enough. The molecules are spaced apart and the spaces change based on the temperature. When water freezes, the molecules form a hexagonal structure that is not flexible, and within this structure there is a lot of empty space. Therefore, ice requires more space than water for the same mass, i.e. ice has a lower density (around 9% less). This is why ice floats in the water!

Before you go, remember that in our website you can find additional brief & interesting facts!