The Scientific Facts About Water

We are going to do occasional blogs on water because we’re fascinated with it.  We hope you enjoy and find these facts as interesting as we did. All life on earth is involved in water somehow. Some of us drink it, others bathe in it. Some of us even use it on a commercial capacity. Whether an “amateur” or a “pro” in this water business, there are always aspects of the water that we don’t really know anything about. We set out on pulling together from various sources facts about water and the results of that search have sent us on a roller coaster of emotions and hours of contemplation. Enjoy!  

Some science facts about water:

  • Water is a polar inorganic compound that is at room temperature a tasteless and odorless liquid, nearly colorless with a hint of blue.
  • Density: 997 kg/m³
  • Boiling point: 212°F (100°C)
  • Molar mass: 18.01528 g/mol
  • Melting point: 32°F (0°C)
  • Formula: H2O
  • IUPAC ID: Water, Oxidant
  • Pure water (solely hydrogen and oxygen atoms) has a neutral pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic.
  • A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds; a cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds.
  • A liter of water weighs 1 kilo; a cubic meter of water weighs 1 tonne.
  • An inch of water covering one acre (27,154 gallons) weighs 113 tons.
  • Water covers 70.9 percent of the planet’s surface.
  • The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.
  • Water is composed of two elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen. 2 Hydrogen + 1 Oxygen = H2O.
  • Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs.
  • Water regulates the Earth’s temperature. It also regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes.
  • Water expands by 9% when it freezes. Frozen water (ice) is lighter than water, which is why ice floats in water.
  • Water is sticky. The molecules love to stick to things, especially each other. It’s what gives it such a large surface tension. It keeps you alive: it means water can pull blood up narrow vessels in the body, often against the force of gravity.
  • Water should be a gas at room temperature – all similar molecules, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3), are gases. The stickiness of water molecules holds them together as a liquid.
  • Water is the second most common molecule in the universe. The most common is hydrogen gas, H2.
  • The biggest known cloud of water vapor was discovered by NASA scientists around a black hole 12 billion light years from Earth. There is 140 trillion times as much water in it as all the water in the world’s oceans.
  • All the water on Earth arrived in comets and asteroids. It happened between 4.5bn and 3.8bn years ago, a period called the Late Heavy Bombardment.
  • Everywhere there is liquid water on Earth, there is life. Even if that water is nearly boiling, or where the area is skin burningly acidic.
  • There is a hot ocean under the ice crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, probably sitting on a bed of rock. Since a hydro thermal vent at the bottom of one of the Earth’s oceans is thought to be the best candidate for where life started on our planet, astrobiologists think Enceladus is a good place to look for alien life.
  • Water expands when it freezes, unlike almost every other liquid. This has been crucial to life – lakes and rivers freeze from the top down, so even though the Earth has faced successive ice ages, there has always been liquid water for life to continue evolving.
  • Hot water freezes faster than cold water. This is known as the Mpemba Effect, and no-one knows why it happens.
  • There is ice on the poles of the moon, and on the poles of Mars and Mercury.
  • There are at least 16 different kinds, or “phases”, of ice. All of them have different crystal structures.
  • The Sun and other stars like it create the equivalent of 100 million times the water in the Amazon river every second.
  • Much more fresh water is stored under the ground in aquifers than on the earth’s surface.
  • There are about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of water on Earth – that’s 1.5 billion trillion liters, or 800 trillion Olympic swimming pools.
  • If all that water was evenly spread over the Earth’s surface it would have a depth of 3,700 meters.
  • Of all the water on the earth, humans can use only about three tenths of a percent of this water. Such usable water is found in groundwater aquifers, rivers, and freshwater lakes.