SFU majors take on society’s minors

Is water wet? The results are in

Various people in different majors arguing
The most opinionated minds are on the case. ILLUSTRATION: Jiamin Bai / The Peak

By: Maya Beninteso, Peak Associate

Recently, while a cup of tea was being brewed at The Peak offices, an innocent question was asked: “Is water wet?” While benign in nature, this query sparked an extremely aggressive debate in the office. As no liquid could be consumed until this debate was resolved, The Peak consulted the bright minds, and various majors, at SFU to see their take on this timely, and poignant question. 

Chemistry I:

This shouldn’t be a debate — water is irrefutably wet. When water touches something, such as a shirt, the shirt gets wet. If it touches your hair, it gets wet. If water from your eyes falls onto your homework paper for the fifth time this semester — your homework paper is wet.  Water is simply a collection of individual water molecules (H₂O) that are all touching each other. When water touches something else, that thing becomes wet. By this ironclad logic, water is most definitely wet. There is no counter-argument. 



To be or not to be . . . wet? That is the question. 



I have no clue. I know that the failure to drink water can cause impaired cognition. I know that our brain needs water in order to survive. But the truth is, I’m only here to analyse hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks because I thought this would be cheaper than actually attending therapy. I was wrong. Honestly, all I know is the real question should be: what makes you think my answer to “is water wet” would be correct? pulls out a legal pad clicks pen And how does that make you feel?


History with a Certificate in Writing and Rhetoric:

Ah, an interesting question, indeed. You see, historically the root of this query may be traced back to an educational episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. But I believe humans have been pondering this question for centuries. So, let us now follow our pensive ancestors footsteps and entertain the ramifications of both possibilities . . . If water is wet, then is a body of water, such as an ocean, wet? Do we consider seaweed, that is fully submerged in water, truly wet? Diametrically opposing the aforementioned option, we take that water is — in fact — not wet. Does that make water, by proxy, dry? Is it then logical to assert water merely makes things wet but is not itself wet?



Water is a fluid and my movements — like a babbling glacier stream in the spring — should also be fluid, seemingly effortless.