I mean, water. What more is there to say? It’s water for crying out loud. It does cool tricks. Take for example alphabet soup.
In the beginning, it’s just a dry a$$ powder, overly salty, overly hard, overly dry, totally inedible and all-round disappointing. But add a bit of hot water and BAM! you have yourself a totally delicious, mind-blowingly satisfying dish.
Same with life. It can’t just be earth. It needs water. It needs a solvent , a containment environment for its chemicals. Many of life’s basic reactions like condensation and hydrolysis rely on water being present.
Its heat capacity is pretty decent so it buffers changes in temperature produced by other reactions and the environment. For the purposes of temperature regulation which is fundamental to many living systems, it has a reasonably large latent heat of vaporisation . This means it can produce a cooling effect when it evaporates without needing much of it, thus risking excessive water loss.
Water molecules also like to stick together nicely, so when you have long water columns e.g. transport cells in plants, it’s a continuous stream that’s difficult to break. This property is cohesion. It’s also the reason behind water’s tight surface against air, called surface tension , which is seen when tiny insects stand on water without falling through. Also this pic.
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OFF TOPIC : I just want to say that your website is brilliant, thank you!!
Thank you for making all the content btw!
Serena Kutty YouTube
Just a huge thank you for spending your time helping others. I love your site and I'm seriously very grateful. No word of a lie
Neuron13 The Student Room
Good topic notes and cool videos. I'll definitely recommend it to my students.
Seema Sehgal AQA Examiner and biology teacher on LinkedIn