I recently visited the Aral sea and filled a plastic bottle with sea water. I want to keep it as a souvenir for years to come but I don't know what would be the best container. Ideally I would seal it as I don't plan to open it ever again.

Any ideas on what would be the best containers?

  • Unopened plastic (PETE) bottles with drinking water will begin to evaporate and reduce in volume within months. As that happens, the partial vacuum formed in the bottle will allow it to collapse as if crushed. In about twenty years, a bottle I have on a shelf became distorted and contains about ⅔ of its original volume. A newer bottle has become slightly distorted in a year stored in the back of my refrigerator. A few souvenir miniature liquor bottles (in glass - metal screw tops) have lost up to ⅓ of their volume in a few years; some have lost none—a function of the seal, no doubt. FWIW.
    – Stan
    May 10, 2018 at 14:00

2 Answers 2


Seal it in a glass container with opening melted shut, or at least tightly stoppered and wax covered. A Florence flask looks nice and the neck can be melted by a propane torch. You can buy flasks with stoppers, but ground-glass joints are not quite airtight unless a membrane such as PTFE (Teflon©) tape is used in the joint.

N.B. Leave air space in the container or thermal expansion will shatter it.


I don't think there is a maintenance-free way to do this. The sea water you captured is full of microscopic life which will start decaying when it runs out of nutrients and/or oxygen. In about a month, it'll all be dead, giving off an unpleasant smell and you might get visible contamination as well.

You'd have to filter it (through e.g. a carbon bed) and then add chlorine to keep it clean, and at that point it's no longer Aral sea water.

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