Most people probably think of salt as simply that white granular seasoning found in saltshakers on virtually every dining table.

It is that, surely, but it is far more. It is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives. Its industrial and other uses are almost without number.

Here is everything you ever wanted to know about ... SALT!


  • The purpose of road salt is not to melt snow, but to stop it from freezing to pavement. This makes it easier to plow. Salt works by dissolving in water and creating brine on roads that has a lower freezing temp than pure water.
  • Salt is so soluble (it dissolves easily in water) that it's never found above ground in Nova Scotia's climate!
  • All of the road salt that helps keep Nova Scotians safe in winter comes from the underground salt mine in Pugwash, Nova Scotia.
  • The word “salary” was derived from the word “salt.” Salt was highly valued and its production was legally restricted in ancient times, so it was historically used as a method of trade and currency.
  • The word “salad” also originated from “salt,” and began with the early Romans salting their leafy greens and vegetables.
  • The expression “not worth his salt” stems from the practice of trading slaves for salt in ancient Greece.
  • The Dead Sea – bordering Israel, the West Bank and Jordan – is a salt lake whose banks are more than 400m below sea level, the lowest point on dry land. Its famously hypersaline water makes floating easy, and its mineral-rich black mud is used for therapeutic and cosmetic treatments at area resorts.
  • Before computerized special effects, Hollywood often used crushed gypsum or salt to make fake snow. Christmas movies were usually shot in the middle of summer - in California heat - so snow had to be faked! Superman's original Fortress of Solitude? Mainly salt and styrofoam.

  • When you take pictures at the underground salt mine in Pugwash, the camera’s flash lights up salt particles that float in the air, making it look like it’s snowing! You can only see the salt particles in pictures, but you can taste the salt in the air when you are underground.
  • Everything at the underground salt mine in Pugwash gets in and out of the mine on an elevator. That means vehicles like haul trucks and excavators have to be cut into pieces on the surface, lowered into the mine one piece at a time, and reassembled over 1000 feet underground!
  • In your lifetime, you will use about 30 metric tons of salt.