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Why Water Is Weird

Researchers reported recently that it is striking that water is the “least understood material on Earth.” In an article, researchers ask, “What could we not know about water? It’s wet! It’s clear. It comes from rain. It boils. It makes snow and it makes ice! Does our government actually spend taxpayer money to study water? Yes, water is common—in fact, it is the third most common molecule in the universe. But it is also deceptively complex.” From steam to ice, water continues to mystify. Here are several of the weird facts about water:

Why Does Ice Float?

Researchers tried to tease apart what makes water unique among liquids. It’s got anomalous properties, like expanding when cooled below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. (This) explains why lakes freeze downward, from top to bottom, rather than up. Normally frozen solids are denser than their liquid equivalents, which would mean that frozen chunks would fall to the bottom of a lake instead of staying on top. But when water freezes, it creates an open structure, mostly empty space and less dense than … liquid water, which is why water props ice up.

Why Can Insects Walk On It?

Water has an uncanny level of surface tension, allowing beings light enough, like insects, to walk or stand atop it. Since it’s these distinctive features among others that power our climate and ecosystems, water can appear to be “fine-tuned” for life according to the researchers.

How Does Water Evaporate?

The rate of evaporation of liquid water is one of the principal uncertainties in modern climate modeling. ... The addition of salts to water raises the surface tension … and so should reduce the evaporation rate. But experimental studies show little or no effect when salts are added. The exact mechanism for how water evaporates isn’t completely understood.

Possible Preaching Angle:

These researchers point out some of the weird anomalies of water, which covers 71% of the surface of our world. Although they do not acknowledge God in their research, they do admit that “water can appear to be ‘fine-tuned’ for life.” Christians would respond that without its God-given properties, lakes would freeze from the bottom up, killing all fish in them. And, although the salt in oceans should inhibit evaporation, the water in the oceans evaporates, producing rain over the land. These are some examples of “Intelligent Design” in which our wise creator fine-tuned the earth to sustain life and provide for our needs and enjoyment of life.

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