An Oceans Abcdarium created by the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany

Water Physics

Annabel Regenstein

Thanks to its characteristic molecular structure as a dipol, water exhibits unique properties, and 13 physical anomalies. Some of these anomalies have played a key role in the evolution of life on Earth—such as the well-known density anomaly, which causes ice to form on the surface of water bodies in winter, so organisms can survive in the deep at a temperature of 4°C. Its high thermal conductivity is of crucial significance for our climate. Biochemical processes, the basis of all life, are also barely possible without the presence of water, as its polar and dipolar character makes water a universal solvent. Likewise, life on Earth would be difficult to imagine without the unusually high surface tension of water which allows it to penetrate rock crevices, causing erosion and thus the formation of soils.This gif humorously inspects the physical properties of water surfaces through the painful practice of belly landing. It also serves as a reminder of how our interaction with water shapes our natural understanding of the physics of water. Even if it’s just belly landing at the local swimming pool as a kid one too many times.

Sources: Gordalla, B. C., M. Müller und F. H. Frimmel, “Die physikalisch-chemischen Eigenschaften des Wassers und ihre Bedeutung für das Leben”, Warnsignal Klima

Bauer, Christoph, “Literaturrecherche und Demonstrationsexperimente zur Anomalie Wasser (Diplomarbeit)”, (2019).