Why is water wet?

Why is water wet?

Planet Science investigates

I spilled a glass of water yesterday. After I cleaned up the mess, I started wondering Why is water wet?

Who could help me? Professor Brian Cox! He answered ten science questions for the Big Bang Fair.

Why is water wet?

Wetness is our description of what we feel when we put our hand in water. Saying water is wet is like saying that wood is hard or fire is hot.

Sensory receptors on our hand send information about the water to our brain. Our brain receives the information from our sensory receptors and processes it. A combination of temperature, pressure and the way water moves tells our brain that water is wet.

Try it!

Dip your fingers in warm water. Now, try dipping your fingers in other liquids - milk, orange juice or a fizzy drink. Do all the liquids feel wet? Do all the liquids feel the same? What about the liquids feels different?

Curriculum information

  • Summary

    Sometimes the most obvious questions can lead to some really deep thinking. Try these activities to investigate our perception of the world around us.

    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • Properties of materials
    • Water
    Investigating water with Welsh Water
    Six lessons on water from the Hamilton Trust
    Archive ideas: science from water play
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum
    Use senses to explore materials (KS1 Sc3.1a)Exploring properties of materials (SCN 0-15a and SCN 1-15a)Recognise different materials (KS1 Strand3: Place)