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Why is water wet?

6 Answers
Why is water wet? There has to be an answer to this...
A

If we define wetness as simply the sensation of being in contact with something liquid, then water is wet because it is a liquid, and all liquids are wet. However, you could argue that some liquids are wetter than others! For example, if you were to briefly dip your hand into a large beaker of mercury (not recommended), it wouldn't feel wet, as mercury does not cling to the skin as water does. On the other hand, oil will cling more than water, due to its lower surface tension, so you could say that oil is wetter than water, and that soapy water is wetter than pure water.

I would say, though, that the sensation of wetness is more obvious if the liquid is at a different temperature from your body temperature - the unpleasant sensation of wetness experienced if you get caught in heavy rain is the sensation of your water-impregnated clothes clinging to your skin and lowering your temperature.

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P

I see that none of the above users has answered this question based on physics. First, consider a drop of a liquid. Now, consider a tangent drawn from the base of this drop. Now, the angle between this tangent and the base is called the angle of contact in physics. If the angle of contact is acute, the liquid wets the surface, and if it is acute, then the liquid doesn't wet the surface. This is why water wets, while mercury does not. :)

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M

Mr Physics is right, with one little something to add. Water is not alway wet at all. See a drop on your rain proof jacket? Water is not wet to it. See the water strider on the surface of the pond? Water is not wet to him. And because water is not all that wet, we have to use detergent and soap to make it REALLY WET. It is a question of surface tension wether it is wet or not.

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P

Water is wet so that the fish and other ocean, lake and river creatures can move through it with fluent ease. Friction is not your friend when you are trying to move. We need to be able to drink. We need for boats not to sink. We need for our plumbing to work. This is why water is wet.

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P

For the same reason that air is dry.......the chemical composition.

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S

Because water has very very high moisture content

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