• Question: why is water wet??

    Asked by immylovesjellybabies to Cesar, Emily, Jamie, Kate, Philippa on 20 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Jamie Gallagher

      Jamie Gallagher answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      I guess because of a few things.
      – It is a liquid
      – It is sticky
      – it boils above our body temperature.

      Liquid nitrogen is a liquid but doesnt feel wet- it boils when it touches your skin and feels very different to any other substances. Liquids like ethanol feel different too, they dry you skin and also make you feel cold as they steal the water from your skin.

      So water is wet because of lots of its properties, H2O is a facinating thing! it has so many odd little properties- it is amazing.

    • Photo: Emily Robinson

      Emily Robinson answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      How do you know water is wet? You need to touch it and sense its properties. So water is wet because signals from your skin are sent to your brain and your brain has desiphered them as feeling like that!

      Well that’s how I think of it anyway… but I see the world through a brain-related haze. What do you think?

    • Photo: Philippa Demonte

      Philippa Demonte answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      @immylovesjellybabies I have no idea why water is wet, but I’m liking @Emily ‘s answer.

    • Photo: Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo

      Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      hmmm, I have been thinking about this one for a little while and I have not find an answer that makes me happy. I started wondering: water is a liquid (if it is in gaseous state it only makes you wet once it condenses) so, are all liquids wet? Oil is a liquid and I reckon the feeling of immersing your finger in oil is quite different than in water and I don’t know if I would call that wet.

      As Jamie points out, liquid nitrogen is a liquid but, if it touches something which is also very cold (as not to make it boil), will it make it wet then? What about mercury? I would not advice at all to immerse your hand in mercury to try, but I reckon it wouldn’t be wet either. So some liquids are wet…but why? I reckon it has to do with some electromagnetic properties…but I still don’t know.

    • Photo: Kate Clancy

      Kate Clancy answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I am guessing surface tension also is part of the reason water is wet.