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The Lafayette Ledger

The Lafayette Ledger

Is Water Wet?

The answer might surprise you.

Water is not wet. This may surprise many of the people reading this, but it is true. Water itself is not wet, but it makes other things wet. According to LHS Science Teacher, Mrs. Victoria Boyer, “Water is not wet because it is a polar molecule.” Water uses three properties to appear wet, adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension. Adhesion is a property that makes the water

Doesn’t this water look nice and refreshing and also wet? This may not be the case. (Drakonfly, Wikimedia Commons)

appear sticky, making it bead up on glass and attract it to other substances. Cohesion makes water attract to itself, keeping it together and allowing it to fill up buckets and other vessels. Surface tension keeps the water molecules together and resists the external forces of water. Between these three properties that allow for the polar molecule of water to keep its bonds, it will appear wet to the touch and will cause a reaction that makes other things feel wet. Wetness also requires a substance in addition to water or a liquid to appear wet. It’s not that water is dry when not in contact, it’s just that it has a reaction to when it is touched by something else. The human brain also has a large part of the interpretation that it is wet. The human brain interprets that water is wet and cannot comprehend otherwise. The human brain, when in contact with water, feels that the contact is that with a wet molecule. The cohesive properties hold the hydrogen bonds of Oxygen, keeping it as a not wet molecule.

Many humans do believe that water is wet, and this is because of the feeling they have when they touch it. In fact, out of the five people I asked, four said that water is wet. Even though this has been scientifically disproven, most of the population still believes in wet water. This, as I have mentioned, could be due to the brain, but it is also due to education. Children have been taught that wet goes with the word water from a young age, keeping an association that can lead to a life of thinking water is wet. I feel that even though the population is mostly uneducated on water not being wet, they soon will be. This has been a relatively recent finding, so education may change to teach students that water is a polar molecule.

This is the chemical molecule for water, H2O. This molecule is extremely unique, with a large amount of surface tension and the ability to have adhesion and cohesion. (Booyabazooka, English Wikipedia)

The connection between water being wet and humanity has dated back as far as we know because of the brain function that forces us to think water is wet. There is very little evidence on the matter, as little science has been due to its recency. Over the next few years, as the research increases, I think that the research will go out to all of society and will change the way we think of water and substances. Water is not wet, due to its polarity and its compound make up. As this is discovered by more of the population, more and more people will know about this and will change the way we think about science in general. I feel as though this is a large discovery, and that the human population should be let known about this.

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