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I was expecting that the water would become less "boily" since the ions in $\ce{NaCl}$ would require energy to disassociate. Instead it turned whitish and the water level suddenly rose and then subsided. I think the white color can be attributed to the fact that table salt is white but why did the water suddenly flare up ?

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The salt does not instantly dissolve so the surface of the crystals suddenly provides a lot of nucleation sites for the water to form vapour - hence the surge as it boils from these surfaces. The white is due to turbulence from the boiling just like waterfalls look white.

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    $\begingroup$ What are nucleation sites ? $\endgroup$ – Avnish Kabaj May 5 '18 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ Places with high surface area to volume? $\endgroup$ – Avnish Kabaj May 5 '18 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @JimGarrison: A link or a small explanation in the answer would be nice, though. Much better than telling OP to lmgtfy. $\endgroup$ – Eric Duminil May 6 '18 at 14:57

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