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Debate of the Issue: Water is Wet

Back in August 2017, a video of two guys arguing over whether a fish underwater is wet appeared and went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and likes on YouTube and other social media sites. Almost five months later, the internet remains abuzz with heated discussion over the nature of water and wetness. In this month’s Debate of the Issue, Josh Fairman ‘19 and Matt Smith ‘19 will tackle one of the world’s most pressing questions, one that has stumped some of the internet’s most vocal users: Is water wet?

Here is the definition of wet: “saturated with water.” I now argue that water, by its property of being water, must be considered saturated with water. In fact, it is the one true example of wetness. Some people say that only objects that encounter water may be considered wet, but this is hosh posh. If you go out in the rain with a rain jacket on, the rain jacket becomes wet to the touch, but what are you actually touching? The water. The molecules of the jacket are all dry, but the wet parts are the H2O molecules on the outside of the jacket that are transferred to your hand. Another example is, if someone waded into a pool of water, he would become wet. So how did he become wet? Well, the wetness was transferred onto him by the water. If we consider the water not to be wet, then the wetness will have just been created.  This is fundamentally impossible as something may not be created from nothing.  Ergo, I submit this postulate: wetness may neither be created nor destroyed, only transferred.

#H2O #BigWa-WaGuy #JustJoshin

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