May 23, 2022

Why Does Pumice Rock Float on Water?

by Bernice

Pumice rocks form during volcanic eruptions. People use this rock for cleaning and polishing.

It is also part of the construction material as a lightweight material for insulation.

Most people want to know why does pumice rock float on water. We will answer all your question about the pumice rock properties.


Table of Contents

The Rock Pumice often Floats, Yet the Density of the Rock Is Greater than Water. Why Does It Float?

Pumice rock floats on water due to the air pockets in every part of the rock. This rock is porous with trapped in the small spaces of the rock. When you place the pumice rock in water, it will float because air spaces make it lighter than the water.

Rock Pumice often Floats, Yet the Density of the Rock Is Greater than Water. Why Does It Float
The Rock Pumice often Floats, Yet the Density of the Rock Is Greater than Water. Why Does It Float?

Related Article: Is Ice a Rock?

Why Does Pumice Have Low Density?

Pumice has a low density due to a high level of porosity. It can have up to 85 percent porosity. Pumice rock consists of highly vascular igneous rock.

We can calculate density when we divide the weight by volume. A large pumice rock has a small weight. When we divide the weight of the rock by the volume, we get a low value.

Related Article: What Are the Best Places to Collect and Find Rocks?

What Would Happen if You Put Pumice in Water?

If you put pumice in water, it will float because it has a lower density than the water. The floating ability depends on the porosity of the rock.

Water has a density of 997 kg/m3. The pumice rock will float on the water if it has a lower density. Most of these rocks have 641Kg/m3.

It means that the rock will float on the water. If you get a rock with a higher density, it will sink into the water quickly.

Related Article: Why Does Water Frozen in the Cracks of a Rock Help to Break Down the Rock?

Is Pumice the Only Rock that Can Float on Water?

Pumice is the only rock that can float on water due to its lower density and peculiar porous structure. There are no rocks other than pumice that can float on water.

Pumice is the only rock that gets perfect conditions for the low density. Volcanic eruptions are the only way to form these rocks naturally.

Related Article: Best Gifts for Rock Collectors

What are Some Rocks that Float on Water?

Only pumice rock can float on water. People give different names to these rocks, such as tuff.

No other rocks can float on water because the volcano is the only place to produce these rocks.

Why Does Pumice Rock Float on Water
Why Does Pumice Rock Float on Water?

How Can a Rock Float?

A rock can float on water when it has a lower density than water. Lower density is possible when the rock has many empty spaces in the solid structure.

It is also crucial that the air pockets are sealed. If the water enters the air pockets, the rock will float. Pumice rocks are the perfect examples of this phenomenon.

The floating also depends on the condition of the water. If you increase the water temperature, pumice will also sink because high energy molecules will not allow the pumice to float.

Does All Pumice Float?

All pumice does not float on water because the floating properties depend on the rock density. Some pumice does not have enough air pockets. It decreases the pumice porosity.

When it has low porosity, the rock density is higher. Pumice needs a density lower than 997Kg/m3 to float. Most pumice has a rock density of 641Kg/m3.

It is suitable for floating. If the pumice consists of heavier minerals, it can have more density than water. Pumice with higher density will not float.

What are the Uses of a Pumice Rock?

You can use the pumice rock to remove the calluses from the feet in the pedicure. It is used to remove oil spills and filter substances.

The construction industry uses it for insulation and produces lightweight concrete. You can use it to delay the release of essential oils.

You can place a few drops on it to get a long-lasting fragrance. If you rub this stone on the carpet, it will collect the pet’s hair.

The agriculture section also uses this rock to increase the soil water holding capacity.

Is There Pumice Rock on a Rock Climbing Wall?

No, rock climbing wall holds are made of polyurethane or fiberglass material. Companies use some techniques to make the material appear like pumice rock.

You can use the pumice rock on the rock climbing walls, but they will not last long. They are not used commercially due to their low durability.

For more interesting articles on rock climbing, read our articles in the category rock climbing.

Read our guides on rocks and minerals if you are a rock climber and a rock and crystal collector.

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About the author 

Bernice

Bernice often jokes that she is better at climbing than walking. With avid parents of climbing, her first encounter with the high vertical rock walls was at the age of one. Her favorite style of climbing is bouldering.

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