7 Crazy Facts About Water
Water is nearly everywhere on our planet. For many of the places that are not able to get much, programs are set up to help those regions. But there is more to the life-supporting liquid than meets the eye. On the surface, H2O is simply a liquid that helps sustain us.
There are many facts about this abundant liquid none of us know. Here are some interesting and downright strange facts about water:
1. Glassy Water
In elementary science, we are taught that water exists in three basic states: liquid, solid, and gas. What that level of education does not mention is that liquid water has 5 phases all its own, depending on the temperature it is exposed to.
If that’s not crazy enough, science has found that ice can exist in 14 different states.
At a terribly biting cold of -120 degrees Celsius, water actually takes on an ultra-viscous state, sometimes as thick as molasses.
When it get gets to an even colder -135 degrees Celsius, the water becomes a solid with no crystal structure, thus “glassy water.”
2. Bottled Water Requires More Water Than Bottle Holds
In an effort to promote the drinking of clean water, humans have erred in their efforts to make it so. According to Kathryn Sullivan, former admin of NOAA, “most of the waste from the bottled water industry comes from filtering. The process can waste up to nine times more water than actually gets bottled.”
One also has to factor in the sheer amount of plastic being produced for the same thing.
If the waste generated by bottling water is at such an exponential amount, then perhaps switching to 5-gallon bottles is a better way to do it. That’s exactly how my family got our water when I was growing up.
3. Las Vegas Uses More Water Than New York City
Statistically, a Las Vegas resident uses two times as much as a New Yorker, despite the difference in rain levels. While Sin City sees its own share of rainstorms, New York City sees ten times the rain.
Sullivan noted how odd the numbers are. Many agree that the skewed numbers are likely a by-product of climate change and the human race’s attempt to adjust. Researchers say they expect such odd statistics in the near future as well.
4. Need an Iceberg’s Worth of Water?
It’s already crazy enough to know that water can take on the texture of molasses. But the only thing that can go a step above that crazy is moving icebergs ourselves.
Mohammed al Faisal, a Saudi prince, decided in the 1970s to establish an iceberg towing company. Dubbed the “Iceberg Transport International” (ITI), the company’s purpose was transporting entire icebergs to the Middle East as resources for freshwater.
According to the company’s numbers, transportation would be $100 million for 100 million tons of ice (if only there were smaller ones). An international conference was held, and the idea was tested in the San Francisco Bay. After it was done, the company realized how uneconomical an endeavor it was.
5. ISS Recycles Water
On the ISS, up to 85% percent of the water used by the station is recycled. The process by which the ISS does is called ISRU.
ISRU (in situ resource utilization) is “the practice of collecting, processing, storing and use of materials found or manufactured on other astronomical objects.”
Using this practice, astronauts recycle things like their breath, sweat, and urine. A machine specifically designed for this purpose was installed back in 2008. This would save space agencies the hassle of having to transport 740 gallons a year up to the station.
Don’t worry, though. The water tastes complete fine and is safe to drink.
The way that ISS recycles its water is important. Research on the station will go a long way towards planning a manned mission to the Red Planet, Mars. To satisfy mission parameters for necessary water, recycling will need to be bumped up to 95% efficiency.
6. We Might Know Where Mars’ Water Is
So far there hasn’t been concrete evidence of liquid water existing on Mars. But the data gathered so far has scientist across the world grinning with joy. According to surveys conducted recently, the depth of Martian aquifers is expected at a depth of about 0.62 miles.
7. Body’s Water Percentage Differs With Age
We know that an adult human body is around 70% water. While that information is familiar to a great deal of us, many of us (me, included) did not know before that a human fetus is about 95% water for the first trimester, dipping to 77% at birth.
In a person weighing 154 pounds, there is as much as 42 liters of water in its body.