how far will electricty travel in the ocean?

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  • jonal
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Well that explains the battleship that disappeared in the Manhattan Project then. Somebody crashed over a bridge in southern China, the battery charged the river, the current got magnified in the sea for 8 000 miles and vapourised a battleship.

    Does Reuters know that one or was it kept secret?

    Perhaps the Chinese Secret Service organised the 'innocent' crash over a bridge and a cover-up for the huge line of belly-up dead floating fish and clouds of steam on the way.

    Maybe they've got electrodes in the sea off Shanghai and a line of trained jellyfish as relay stations to sink enemy vessels a thousand miles away.

    I don't think so somehow.

    Electricity doesn't need to 'ground' into the sea bed. The ocean is a big 'ground' anyway just like the earth is. The current just spreads out and dissipates. The ocean can soak it up just as well as wet soil does and better than most solid rock.

    Electrofishing is done with voltages from a couple of hundred to a thousand or so, in lakes and rivers. The Oxford Canal is cleared of carp and zander that way, which are invasive species and have been controlled for the past few years. A cathode and anode are sunk into the water and the current flows between them.

    If only one electrode is immersed the current will find the easiest route to 'earth', which in sea water is practically everywhere. 'Earth' can act as a cathode or an anode.

    In three wire house wiring systems...live,neutral,earth... the neutral line is actually connected to earth at the power station. The earth pin provides a safe alternative earth if it is properly connected.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_b... . . . .

    In the ocean the greater conductivity of the water would need lower voltages but sixty or seventy yards away there would be almost no effect even from a thousand volts.

    http://www.fisheriesmanagement.co.uk/electrofishin...

    . . . . .

    Some fish species can produce static charges of more than a hundred volts to kill prey or as a defensive mechanism but close approach or physical contact is needed.

    The current involved can be very large...50 amps at 200 volts for some electric rays. That's welding current. 50amp welders are a common size.

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Electric_r... . . . . . .

    Source(s): biology lab
  • 1 decade ago

    If you dip anything with a higher voltage than a 9V battery in the ocean you can electrocute someone who is swimming up to 5000 miles away.

    All the salt in the water conducts and jellyfish and stingrays act as boosting stations meaning that a little battery can have the effect of a taser gun at 5000 miles. Over 5000 miles the effect is even stronger due to the amount of jellyfish.

    New Zealand used to be bigger than Australia but someone dropped the car battery from a Ford Focus into the sea at Bridlington in 1996 and vapourised the East and West Islands leaving them with only the North and South Islands. God is a cruel mistress sometimes. You should have seen Tittiwoohoo on the East Island. It was gorgeous.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sea water is a pretty good conductor because of its high salt content but how far electricity could travel through it depends on the voltage of the source. At any rate, if you simply stuck a single cut wire into the water then the electricity would have nowhere to go except to ground (in this case the sea bed).

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