Water Posses An Unique Characteristics Found In Few Other Liquids... What Is It? Why Is It Important?


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binky the binkster Profile
It has a number of unique characteristics that I remember reading about; a few that even touch everyone of our lives.  If my memory's correct (?), water is the only substance known to increase in volume upon freezing, i.e., its density (or weight per unit of volume) goes up.  Water turns to a solid (freezes) at 0 degrees Centigrade, but just before doing so, it reaches its temperature of maximum density at 4 degrees Centigrade, and then it begins to decrease slightly as the temperature is lowered to freezing and it turns into one of the 3 states of matter -- a solid.    Another unique trait is that it's one of a very few, if not the only, substance known to exist in all 3 of the states of matter (gas, liquid, and solid) at the same time over the relatively narrow temperature range required to sustain human life forms, i.e., people, like you and me, or is it you and I?    And I will leave you with one last blast from the past memory regarding water's very special qualities.  I seem to remember during my studies, reading about the states of matter.  One of those fascinating tidbits of knowledge was that water was one of, if not the only, substance known in which the material's solid state of matter would not sink to the bottom of a body of the same substance in the liquid state of matter, rather it would float to the top as ice floats on water.  And I have read that it is this property of water that may have kept Homopithecus Afarensis and Australopithecus from becoming extinct, perhaps even evolving into modern man.  How? Do I hear you ask?  At about the time of these budding human life forms' existence, the Earth was undergoing one of its many Ice Ages and causing the winter temperatures to plummet well below that of water's solid state of matter.  Although no human being has observed it, there is no land-bridge to connect Ice Age northern Eurasia to barely noticeable but warmer North America.  Consequently, if it had not been for the property of water to float in its solid state of matter, the formation of an ice-bridge connecting the 2 continents would never have come about.  Despite being told the crossing was so easy that even a Cave Man could do it, the absence of this unique quality of water would have left the Geico brothers out in the cold.  Stay tuned for the further adventures of the brothers Grimm.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
You didn't explain the physics of why water expands when it approaches the freezing point!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
This question is an assignment in a college course that requires you to research your own answers from reputable sources, not ask non-referenced sources.  If you quote any answers here, you will receive a zero on the assignment.  Go back to your assigned reading -- the answer is there.
Meg Russell Profile
Meg Russell answered
Water is opposite of most liquids. Look in a chemistry text book. I remember one difference is that it expands when it freezes while other liquids contract.

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