Well, Water Ya Know?!
Water. Dihydrogen oxide. H2Flow. We all know agua is super necessary for something to do with our bodies and animals and the environment, or something, maybe? Why do we so desperately need something that is generally odorless, colorless, zero calorie, zero carbohydrate, and nutrient lacking? What is so great about water anyhow?
Water is magical. There is nothing quite like it. It is the only natural substance that can exist as a solid, liquid, and gas at Earth’s temperatures. Going even further, when water freezes, it is less dense than liquid water which is extremely unique. Instead of packing in tightly when water goes from liquid to solid like most other substances, water molecules spread out a little bit. This is why your ice floats in your drink. If this phenomenon didn’t happen, in the winter time, lakes and rivers that freeze over wouldn’t be able to support life, aka #RIPfishies. Likewise, when pressure is added to ice, the molecules compress more closely and become liquid water again. This makes it possible for glaciers to move. Water can also dissolve a whole host of things, and is often dubbed the “universal solvent.”
Other than a sick pickup line, most of those facts don’t seem to directly apply to the majority of people. So let’s be selfish for a bit. Water has a high heat of vaporization and specific heat capacity. That means that water can hold quite a bit of heat and a lot of energy before it changes temperature. After all, a potted watch never waters. This impacts our climate and environment in a very real way. For instance, cities near the water typically have more temperate climates than those at similar latitudes further away, since water can hold heat to keep temperatures cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Water also has some p impressive surface tension that makes it possible for little insects and animals to Jesus walk on water.
Surface tension influences something called capillary action, which makes it possible for water to travel up from the soil to plants and through your tiniest blood vessels. As one water molecule moves, it pulls more with it — all its friends come too! For instance, you can see surface tension at work on the surface of a drink where the liquid on the sides of the glass sits higher than in the middle. Stick a straw in the mix and you have capillary action when your liquid courage ditches the surface level and dances eagerly up the straw.
So while we humans need magical water everyday for lubrication of joints, temperature regulation, waste removal, brain activity, and much more, there are many people who don’t have access to clean water or proper sanitation — 1/10th and 1/3rd of the global population respectfully. Learn how you can help those who are in need here and here and keep feeling #blessed that water exists. Without it, you wouldn’t exist either
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