You drink water every day. You use it to cook, clean, and bathe. You even bust it out when you need to wash your car.
But how much do you actually know about the water you’re using?
Water is, unfortunately, something that far too many people in the U.S. take for granted. There are more than 2 billion people throughout the world who don’t have access to clean and safe water at home. And yet, many Americans don’t give water a second thought on most days.
As a result, there are so many facts about water that most people don’t know.
Here are 10 incredible facts about water you probably weren’t aware of
Most of the World’s Water Isn’t Accessible to Humans
When you’re going about your day, you probably come across water on multiple occasions. You see it in streams, rivers, lakes, oceans, and more.
That would make it seem as though there’s plenty of it to go around! And to some degree, there is. There are more than 332 billion cubic miles of water on the Earth’s surface.
But there’s a catch: Most of the water on the surface of the Earth isn’t fresh and accessible to humans. Less than 1 percent of water is fresh enough for humans to use.
That would partially explain why so many people around the world don’t have enough access to fresh water.
There Might Be More Water Under the World’s Oceans Than in Them
Take one look at a globe and you’ll quickly see that water covers much of the Earth’s surface. There is just so much water on the planet.
But guess what? There’s a good chance there might be even more of it–like, a lot more of it–hidden away under the oceans that exist.
About a decade ago, a group of scientists at Oregon State University published a report about how they believe there is more water under the oceans than there is in them. They found evidence of large oceans located on the inside of the earth.
That’s one of the most incredible facts about water when you sit back and think about it. We all know that our planet is made up of a lot of water. But it could contain even more water than we all originally believed.
Earth Would Look Like Venus Without Water
If you’ve never seen a photo of Venus, many scientists use one word to describe it: Hellish.
It’s not hard to see why. The average temperature on Venus is a balmy 864 degrees Fahrenheit, which sounds every bit as “hellish” as you might imagine.
Many of those same scientists say Earth could look and feel a lot like Venus if not for all the water on its surface. The water plays a key role in keeping the Earth’s temperature bearable for humans.
If water didn’t sit on the surface of the Earth, the crust of the ocean wouldn’t sit on top of the Earth’s mantle. There would be no plate tectonics to speak of. That would likely lead to the Earth being way hotter than it is today.
That alone should make us all a lot more appreciative of what water does for the planet. We definitely wouldn’t be here without water doing what it does.
One Family Uses 100,000 Gallons of Water Every Year
You probably don’t realize it. But you and your family use way more water than you think you do on all kinds of things.
Throughout the course of an average day, you use water to:
- Brush your teeth
- Cook your food
- Take showers and baths
- Flush your toilets
- Run your laundry washer
- Scrub your dishes
- Water your lawn
- Fill your pool
- And so much more
It might not feel like you’re using gallon after gallon of water. But in reality, the average American family goes through 100,000 gallons of water every year.
That’s one of the facts about water that might make you rethink the way you’re using water on a daily basis. If you can use even just a little bit less water, you could make a big impact on how much your household uses every year.
Drinking 8 Glasses Isn’t Magic
How much water do you drink every day?
If you’re committed to getting enough water into your system, you probably drink about eight glasses, which equals out to around 64 ounces of water. That’s the amount that people have always told you to drink in order to remain healthy.
But there’s no scientific evidence to back up the “drink eight glasses of water everyday” theory. That means you could be trying to power through eight glasses of water for nothing.
It is a good idea to drink water regularly during the day to avoid dehydration. You should grab a glass of water whenever you’re thirsty or whenever you know you’re going to exerting a lot of energy and sweating.
But if you’re not getting the eight glasses that have always been recommended for you? It’s not necessarily the end of the world.
Water Can Burn Plants
If you want the plants outside your home to grow, you’ve likely gotten into the habit of watering them early and often.
But if you’re watering them during the day, you could actually be doing them more harm than good! Watering plants in the middle of a sunny day is one of the worst things you can do for them.
When you water plants that are sitting in the sun, water droplets can sit on the surface of the plants and act almost like a magnifying glass. They can take in sunlight and focus it in on the plants and make them very hot.
In some cases, water on plants during the day can even cause them to burn up. You could be inadvertently killing your plants when you think you’re helping them.
Try watering your plants at night instead of during the day. You’ll get much better results.
The International Space Station Creates Water
Have you ever wondered how astronauts get access to water on the International Space Station? You’re going to be amazed (and probably a little grossed out!) when you hear about it.
NASA developed a Water Recovery System that allows them to recycle more than 90 percent of the urine and perspiration created by astronauts. They’re able to take it and turn it into–you guessed it! — drinking water.
75% of Americans Live Within Driving Distance of Polluted Water
In addition to limiting the amount of water they use on a daily basis, Americans should also be more cognizant of water pollution. They should attempt to avoid polluting waterways throughout the country at all costs.
Many do take steps to limit the pollution they put out into the world. But unfortunately, there are still far too many polluted rivers, lakes, and oceans within both this country and other countries around the world.
About 75 percent of people living in America live within just 10 minutes of a polluted water source. Clearly, we should all be making even more of an effort to steer clear of polluting our planet.
Water Can Be Used to Cut Metal
If we asked you to come up with a list of all the different ways water is used, you would probably write down dozens of things.
You know that water can be used for:
- And so much more
But did you know that water is also capable of cutting through metal?! Cutting metal with water is done through a process called waterjet cutting and it’s extremely effective.
It once again proves how important water is to so many daily functions.
There Is Just as Much Water on Earth Today as There Was Millions of Years Ago
The water on the Earth goes through so much.
It falls to the ground in the form of rain. It rises up into the air through the precipitation process. And it sits frozen in places like Antarctica for centuries and centuries on end.
But the total amount of water on Earth never changes. While so many other things with the Earth change, water is the one constant we can all count on.
These 10 Facts About Water Should Make You Appreciate It More
As you can see, there is so much more to water than you may have originally believed before checking out these 10 facts about water. Hopefully, they’ve shed some light on just how essential water is and given you a newfound appreciation for it.
Think about these facts about water the next time you drink a glass of H2O, dive into a swimming pool, or jump into the shower. They should provide you with all you need to know about just how important water is to the world.
Check out our blog to find out other fascinating facts about the world around you.