Molecule Advent Day 14: Water

“Follow the story of H2o’s cycle and its evil molecule rivals”

Perhaps one of the most special, important, intriguing, instrumental molecules that exists – we call it water or H2O. Two, little hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom joined together and created our life as we know it.

Water facts

So I thought today I would just give you a few facts that make water so special:

  1. It is the only molecule that naturally occurs on earth as a solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam or water vapour);
  2. Hydrogen bonds in water cause the, so called, water-ice anomaly. Which means that ice takes up more space than liquid water, which is very unusual. See if you can work out how hydrogen bonds work and why water behaves differently from other substances.
  3. Water is required for the photosynthesis reaction which uses light energy, water and carbon dioxide to create glucose and oxygen – scientists are trying to replicate this as a way of harnessing the sun’s power for clean energy that humans can use.
  4.  Water is a product of respiration – that is why windows steam up when you breathe on them.
  5. 75% of the human brain is water
  6. 97% of the water on earth is salt water!
  7. Water is known as the next big global challenge with two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to face water scarcity by 2025, according to the United Nations.
  8.  750 000 gallons of water flow over Niagara falls every second.

Now time to find out some water facts for yourself.

This picture shows Jonnie, our Biochemistry intern exploring water in virtual reality Nano Simbox:

Virtual reality water