SCOTLAND is often known for its wetness: on average we have about 250 rainy days each year in the highlands and 175 days a year everywhere else. This is quite a dreich fact, and possibly the main reason we are so eager to get “taps aff” the second the sun is out. This year might be quite disappointing for those who can’t get away to get some much-needed Vitamin D abroad, but it is the ideal time for a staycation and to explore the natural beauty of Scotland.
The year 2020 has been designated as “Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters”, a time to celebrate and experience the unrivalled coasts of our beautiful country. With more than 6000 miles of coastline and more than 30,000 lochs, there is plenty of water to go around. Our wet landscape has played a vital role in shaping the way we live, from our thriving fishing industry to the water used for our whisky, or even the industrious shipbuilding history of the Clyde. It also serves as a thriving ecosystem for many plants and animals such as our beloved Nessie. Being wet isn’t all bad.
Interestingly enough, water itself isn’t wet. “Wetness” is a liquid’s ability to stick to the surface of a solid. Ice can be wet, but water cannot. Ice is the solid state of water, and in fact water is the only substance on our planet that naturally occurs in all three states of matter – solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (water vapour).
Snow, rain and clouds are all different forms of water and all can usually be seen on a typical winter’s day in Scotland.
Water in its solid form – ice – floats. Solids are usually more dense than their liquid form, but with water it is the complete opposite. When liquid water reaches zero degrees Celsius, water molecules start to solidify and the hydrogen bonds form crystalline structures that space the water molecules out evenly, which in turn makes solid water less dense than its liquid form.
Humans are 60% water, and as such we need to keep hydrated. We need approximately eight glasses of water a day, and I’m sure many of you will agree that Scottish water or “Cooncil Juice” is the best water on the planet, it just tastes so darn good. Often water is described as tasteless, but studies have shown this not to be true.
Humans have different taste receptor cells that differentiate between five major taste qualities; bitter, sweet, sour, salty and umami or savoury. Each of these taste receptor cells activate a different part of our brains, and studies have found that when we drink water it is our sour cells that are activated.
Depending on where you are, your water might taste different. Our tap water can be treated with fluoride to help protect our teeth which can affect the taste. Also, certain water pipes, such as copper, can change the taste.
Water’s chemical formula is H20, two hydrogen atoms each sharing an electron with an oxygen atom in what we call a covalent bond. The oxygen atom has a…
Read more:: City of Science: Water isn’t wet…