The debate rages on as long as water runs. What is water: wet or not?

Water is What? (Editorial face-off)

April 10, 2018

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Editorial” represent the views and opinions of the author, not the 2017-2018 Periscope staff, CHS Administration, or the CHS student body.

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Water is Wet–Soaking, Sopping, Wet

Imagine, a fish underwater, swimming in the sea, then, all the sudden, he takes a bite and is pulled from the water in which he lived. Now, holding that writhing fish in your hands, he’s sopping wet. So, wouldn’t he still be wet while he’s in the water?

The debate may have begun to die out but, here, we still debate.

Water is wet and even though it may not be a popular opinion, I’m sticking with it. However, I’m not alone. 49 percent of voters on believe that water is wet and they each have their own reasons why.

One voter said, “The word ‘wet’ means saturated, covered or surrounded by another liquid. Because water can be separated into individual H2O molecules each one is surrounded by another one and that makes them wet because they are all surrounded/covered by another liquid–although an individual H2O molecule is not wet.”

On that note, let’s return to that fish, as he swims along he is ‘saturated’ in water, making him wet. Many people argue that water can only make other things wet by surrounding them, doesn’t that mean that the water molecules are wet. They are, by definition, surrounded by water?

Water can’t make things wet if it’s not wet itself. While some people argue, wet is just a feeling and water is wet when we touch it, doesn’t that mean that it is wet even when we aren’t feeling it? I mean people don’t constantly need to be feeling sad for the feeling to exist and still be prevalent.

On the same note, one Planet-science writer said, “Saying water is wet is like saying that wood is hard or fire is hot.” It’s just common sense. I mean, if water isn’t wet, what is it?

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    Water Isn’t Wet; How can it be?

    It can often be difficult to keep up with social media but recently one debate has been extremely prominent among teenagers and young adults. It has divided and brought together people from all walks of life, sparked numerous heated debates, and probably even parted seas: Is water wet?

    If you aren’t aware of the recent popularity of the debate on social media you might think the concept is illogical. The term “wet” is often used to describe water and objects saturated in water/other liquids.

    This might cause some not think upon the subject and immediately conclude that the compound is, in fact, wet. However, when one ponders on the topic, they might be confused and not know what to believe.

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “wet” as “consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid (such as water).” This still doesn’t answer all of our questions, however.

    Writer Ewan Sweeney from a post on said “The reason it feels as it feels when water touches the skin is actually a complex electro-chemical reaction which works at amazing speeds. The sensory inputs are a combination of your body’s pH at that moment, the water’s pH, your body’s temperature at that moment, the water’s temperature, the atmospheric pressure, and molecular polarity.”

    So, from a scientific perspective, “wet” describes the connection between human skin and water, recognizing where the term was originally established.  

    According to, the liquid substance cannot be defined as wet. Writer Jacqueline Castles said “Water isn’t wet. Wetness is a description of our experience of water; what happens to us when we come into contact with water in such a way that it impinges on our state of being. We, or our possessions, ‘get wet’.”

    There’s our answer, water is not wet. The term “wet” can only be appropriately used to describe someone or something that has come in contact with water and has physically changed because of such an occurrence. Water itself is not and cannot be wet.

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