Water is source of all life on Earth, and it’s a truly fascinating chemical. Ever since first creatures of life originated in the waters of the early Earth, it has been sustaining all of us, and keeping all life going on even after billions of years till this day.
Water is amazing, for one single reason – it is the source of all life. But that is not, there are several other mind-blowing facts about water that make it the most unique material in the universe.
Could that perhaps be the reason why water has been able to create life? We’ll find out.
#1. Water’s actual colour is blue
While water may appear colourless in small quantities, pure water has a light blue colour. As the amount of water increases, the colour deepens to darker shades of blue. That’s why all the oceans and large glaciers look blue, and no it’s not because of the reflection of the sky.
#2. Biggest ever store of water is in a Black Hole
Biggest known cloud of water vapour is found around a black hole that is 12 billion light years away. The water cloud has 140 trillion times more water than Earth. Also, it led to the conclusion that water is the second most common molecule in the universe, after hydrogen gas.
#3. Hot water freezes faster than cold water, and no one knows how or why
Also called as the Mpemba effect, this is a phenomenon that has been baffling scientists even now. There are dozens of possible explanations like water impurities, convection, hydrogen bonding and so on – but none of them really clear the mystery.
#4. Hot water can be frozen instantly
You take water almost on the verge of boiling, and if you throw it into cold air, it just freezes. If you try the same thing with cold water, it doesn’t freeze.
#5. Water can bend
You can try turning on the tap or a faucet, and then take a charged comb or balloon near the trickling stream. It bends and turns towards the charged object. It happens because water is a polar molecule, and also because it has dissolved ions.
#6. Water can freeze upward as sharp spikes
Although ice spikes form rarely in nature, you can easily create ice spikes in your freezer. It happens when pure water starts freezing at just the right rate, and the ice starts rising.
#7. Water can have all the properties of glass
When water is supercooled to -120°C, it turns into an extremely viscous fluid. When it’s supercooled even further down to -135°C, it turns into a solid “glassy water” that is solid but not crystalline, exactly like glass.
#8. Water can be supercooled without freezing it
Most liquids turn into solids when you take them to their freezing point, but water can be cooled to extremely low temperatures while remaining liquid – provided that you don’t disturb the supercooled water. If you do disturb it, it turns into ice instantly.
#9. Technically, water should be a gas
Water should really be a gas. The most similar substance to water are ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, and both of them are gases. Water turns into a liquid because of hydrogen bonding. Come to think it, that’s the only reason water is a liquid instead of a gas – and therefore, life has been made possible.
#10. Human foetus is about 95% water
An adult human body has about 70% water content, but a foetus is 95% water, while at birth we are 77% water. To think of it, if you weigh 70 kilos then you probably have 50 kilos of water in you. Most of this water is within your cells, though.
#11. There is life even in the boiling waters under the ocean
There is life on Earth wherever there is liquid water. And it doesn’t matter if that water is boiling or acidic. Geothermal vents under the ocean harbour such a great diversity of creatures, and then there are found some creatures that don’t even need oxygen to survive. They live in the hot boiling water, and consume sulfur. But that is a story for another day.
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