What Causes Tides?

Low Tide to High Tide

Have you ever been fishing? If you have, you probably know that your success partially depends on whether the ocean experiences a low tide or a high tide. But do you know the science behind what causes tides? Below is a quick and simple explanation why.

Tides are caused by differential gravity. We know from Newton’s universal law of gravitation that any two objects with mass exert an attractive force on each other. This holds true for large masses too, like the Earth and the Moon. The Moon exerts a gravitational force on Earth, but the magnitude of this force differs for different parts of the Earth. The side of the Earth closer to the Moon experiences more force than the side that’s farther from the Moon, which causes differential gravity. Certain sides of the Earth, in response, bulge out, which causes high tides.

One thought on “What Causes Tides?

  1. High tides makes fish much easier to catch for sure! I wonder if the duration of high tides is the same across the globe.


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