Posts Tagged ‘Did Jesus or Cleopatra or a T-Rex Drink The Same Water You Drank Today?’

Julius Caesar too. And Socrates. And Plato. Hell, even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven.  But you get the point. There’s a solid chance the water coming out of your faucet or inside that bottle you bought contains molecules that all those people drank. Yes kids, Cleopatra may have sipped that very same water from the Nile back in 33 BC. How in the hell, you ask? Read on . . .

Here’s the dilly. The water on our Earth today is the same water that’s been here for nearly 5-billion years. Only a teeny-tiny bit has escaped out into space, and as far as we know new water hasn’t formed either.

What does that mean? It means there’s a very high chance the water in your glass is what thirsty dinosaurs were gulping about 65-million years ago.

It’s possible that you could drink the same water as a T-Rex or any of those historical figures I mentioned above because of the way water circulates around our planet. You and I are actually part of this water cycle, too.

Here’s what happens. As water on the surface of lakes, oceans, and rivers warms up, it travels into the sky as very tiny droplets, or vapor. When the water vapor gets colder, it turns back to liquid to help form clouds.

When the liquid gets so heavy it can’t stay in the atmosphere anymore, it falls as rain, snow, sleet, hail, or my personal favorite, graupel.* Once the precipitation reaches the ground or lands in lakes, oceans, and rivers, the cycle continues.

*Graupel is snow pellets or soft hail. Feel free to drop that word on your friends this winter.

See, the earth is a closed system with finite resources, and one of those resources is water. That means we don’t get new water or lose water on average; instead, like I said, it mixes and recycles. The same is somewhat true for air, and most everything else on earth, although each substance is different.

This next part is sort of complicated, and since I had to read it 7-times to understand it, you might have to read it twice. From Scientific American:

Water is a chemical substance with a chemical formula of H2O, meaning that its molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. People drink an average amount of 2-quarts of water a day.
Each quart of water contains 3.1634653 x 10^24th power of molecules. Thusly, if a person lives for 75-years, we can calculate them needing roughly 365 x 75 x 2=54,750 quarts of water over their lifetime. That means the average person drinks roughly 54,750 x 3.1634653 x 10^24th power of molecules in their lifetime. There are about 326-million trillion gallons of fresh water on Earth. We have approximately 4.72 X 10^46 molecules of fresh water in total. Thus, there is a fair chance you shared water molecule or two with the Dinosaurs, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Julius Caesar, Socrates, or any other human or animal that drank water in history.

So there you go. Interesting stuff, amirite?

Fun Fact: Less than 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh water, the kind we drink. Although you might think that most of the fresh water on Earth is found in lakes and rivers, only a small fraction can be found in these places. Most of the fresh water is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers. The rest exists in the atmosphere as gas or clouds, or is underground.