## Ask GeoMan...

## Why do objects float in water?

This has to do with density, which is mass divided by volume. Some objects start out with a density of less than water (1 gram per cubic centimeter), so they float naturally (like wood, oil, etc.). With things like steel boats and so forth we have to cheat. The construction design needs to make the overall volume of the boat big enough so that the craft's resulting effective density is less than that of water. This works real well, and there are lots of boats made of high density materials which float, even though the stuff they are constructed from doesn't.

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