Most people know a few basic facts about water. They know that water makes up most of the surface area of the earth and that are own bodies are indeed mostly composed of water molecules. Of course, many of us also remember a thing or two from high school chemistry when we learned some fundamental facts about the ways that hydrogen and oxygen can interact.
But few of us know the whole story and there are some water facts that will simply blow your mind. Here are a few of them.
1. Some water is too clean to drink
Too clean to drink? Is that possible? Yes. We’ve talked about reverse osmosis on the site. A RO system will make water pure. In fact, it will often take out more things than it needs to – this is why some RO systems actually reinsert minerals after the reverse osmosis process. Ultra pure water, however, involves 12 additional filtration steps above and beyond what happens with a RO system. This is the water that is used to clean semiconductors and it is not safe to drink. The reason it is unsafe is because it will immediately start to leech important minerals from your body. In other words, the water itself is hungry. It’s not like you would want to drink this water anyway – it has a distinctly bitter taste. For more on this ultra pure water, check this out.
2. Hot water will freeze faster than cold water
Again, this is something that seems counterintuitive, but it has to do with certain supercooling properties of water. Go ahead, test it out. Take a bottle of hot water and one of cold water and put both in the freezer. See which one starts to ice up first. The disclaimer here is that the cold water bottle will thoroughly freeze quicker than the hot water bottle. The difference concerns which one generates ice first – and it will be the hot water bottle that does so.
3. The water on earth is the same water that has always been here
You can think of the earth as a kind of closed system, in which things rarely enter or exit. It’s true that an object from space could technically deliver water at some point, but for the most part, the system is stable. This means that the water in aquifers, oceans, lakes – this water has been around for a very long time.
Now, what we do with the water is another question. Access to fresh water is a big question going forward, and increasingly our water is stuck in industrial processes or waste water systems.
4. Water is the king of dissolving substances
In fact, water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. In other words, when water comes into contact with other substances, those substances join the party and travel with the water wherever it goes.
5. We use a lot of water
While many people in the world have limited access to fresh water, a certain population uses more than their fair share. As an example, the Tiger Woods sponsored golf course in Dubai uses an astonishing 4 million gallons of water every day just to keep up its appearance. This number is even more staggering when we consider that this water is being consumed in the desert.
There are plenty of other, more personal, numbers on water consumption, such as the 50 gallons that are often used when you do a load of laundry or the 4 gallons that you use if you leave the tap on when you brush your teeth. We could all be a little more conscious about our water consumption. In many cases, it doesn’t take much effort.
Photo credit: flickr user dibytes