Water is the substance that gives life to almost everything on Earth. It is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (H2O) and makes up around 60 percent of the human body. Not to mention it covers around two-thirds of the planet’s surface but parts of South Africa are struggling through devastating droughts. And while you may have heard these facts before, there are quite a few things you may not know about water.
Much like peanuts (and its numerous uses), you may not give water a second thought. We use it in cooking, washing, and get annoyed when there is too much rain. What’s more, there is a continuous effort to purify more water for human consumption thanks to companies like ProxaWater, governments, and home applications. But water is an amazing chemical that not only has a range of applications but there is also a myriad of bizarre facts about it.
Here is a list of the strangest facts about water.
It might be ‘alien’
Many religious texts depict water as something that has been on the planet since the beginning. There are many scientific studies that corroborate that. Though, there is a theory that water isn’t actually from Earth and may have been transplanted here around three to four billion years ago by comets smashing into the planet. If that is true, where did water initially come from and is there a pure water planet somewhere out there? Hopefully it doesn’t have Kevin Costner on it.
The Earth is a closed ecosystem
Thanks to the Earth’s atmosphere, it rarely gains or loses any matter. That means that you are drinking the same water that has existed on it for billions of years. Your tea, coffee, or beer may water drunk by a wooly mammoth or the water at Camps Bay beach could have been swum in by a megalodon shark.
There is water in our solar system
It’s not just Earth that has water. In fact, the substance has been discovered on the poles of the Moon and trace amounts on Mars as well. Not to mention several of the dwarf planets, such as Ceres and in the atmosphere of larger ones, like Jupiter.
It is theorised that Earth isn’t the only planet with oceans. Quite a few of Jupiter and Saturn’s moons are thought to have vast oceans beneath their surfaces. This idea was explored in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey quadrilogy of books, which focuses on Europa in this regard.
Water can kill you: part 1
We are told that in order to live, we need to ingest around eight glasses of water a day. This is to keep our body functional and to stop it from dehydrating. But it is possible to drink too much water. When this happens, water intoxication occurs, which means the chemical bypasses normal delivery methods and heads straight to the brain and other organs, which causes swelling.
It’s not just people who are too health-conscious who are at risk of drowning themselves. Those who take the drug Ecstasy, tend to become tired and sweat profusely. There have been reported cases of users drowning themselves by consuming too much water then they feel dehydrated from being intoxicated.
Water can kill you: part 2
Swimming is fun. It’s a great way to cool off on hot summer days and swimming lengths in a pool can keep you in shape. One of the best parts of swimming is jumping into the water and making a splash. But if you jump from too high an altitude, the water is likely to break your bones the same way concrete does.
How can that be? Water is soft and easily flows over you. Is the same substance you shower with able to crush your bones? Water is actually a very dense substance and hitting it at high speeds results in blunt force trauma to the human body. Depending on how deep the body of water is, you may drown or hit the floor, which results in death.
Water can cut through steel
That same substance you put in your tea or coffee is powerful enough to cut through steel. When the chemical is concentrated and kept at a high-pressure constantly, it has enough force to cut metal. Since it leaves the nozzle at over 1400 kilometers per hour, you don’t want to get your hand in the way. It’s not just steel, but marble, wood, and even stone that water can cut through. It can also be mixed with minute abrasive substances in order to add extra strength when cutting.