Is Water Wet? Leading Scientists Weight In

By Drew Handorf, March 2018

drops-of-water-water-nature-liquid-40784.jpegAn eighth grader starts sprinting toward you. He stops violently. “IS WATER WET?” He screeches. You don’t know the answer. You stutter awkwardly, unsure of what to say. After a few moments he turns away and sprints back. I’m here to tell you how to avoid that awful situation.

Our very own science teachers here at Deer Park have talked to us about this hard hitting topic. Mr. Fite has a lot to say on the topic, “Is liquid water wet? My opinion is that the object which is submerged in liquid water and removed, the object is wet because it is surrounded or saturated with water. Water itself to be wet…doesn’t make sense. Unless we have an ice cube, which is solid water and submerge it in water, then the ice cube… could be said to be wet. At least that’s my humble opinion.”A few days later Mr. Fite approached me in the hallway and told me he had more to say. “So what allows something to become wet is that water is a polar molecule. It has a slightly negative and a slightly positive side, and that allows it to attach itself with its electromagnetic forces to whatever object that it is on. And so we say on scientific terms that the object that has been submerged is wet.”


Is Water Wet?Mr. Johnston, on the other hand, had very little to say on the topic. “No, water is not wet.” Mr. Toman also told me his opinion, though he is a biology teacher and water is a chemical compound so he said that he wouldn’t know as much about the subject. “I don’t know. Can water by definition be wet when it makes other things wet, could it be wet itself? I don’t know. I think its semantics. If something is wet when it is surrounded by water, water is wet because water is surrounded by water.”


Some students at school also told me what they had to say. Bailey Walker says,   “Water is not wet, and its common sense so that’s how I know that. I think the whole debate is stupid and I do respect the people who have different opinions than me, but water is not wet.” I also took a poll of 100 people in some of my class on whether or not water was wet. In the end the poll was 62 people saying water is not wet and 38 people who thought that water was wet. Cassidy Horn, on the other hand, has the opposite approach. Cassidy Horn says, “Water is wet because wetness is something that humans experience. Saying that water is wet is like saying wood is hard or fire is hot. It’s just something that is.”
There you have it, the arguments for both sides. Now that you’ve read this, you decide. Do you think water is wet?

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