Is Water Wet?


Angel Major, Student Life Editor

Have you ever wondered, Is water wet? The big debate started on Twitter a while back but has recently grew in attention.  Lately, there has been some tension between students around Eleanor Roosevelt High School based on this question. This has caused classroom debates that have even involved some teachers. 

Water is defined to be “a colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms,” according to Google. The definition of wet is “covered or saturated with water or another liquid.” So how can water be wet if the definition of wet is to be covered or saturated with water? Dr. Oram, a chemistry teacher at ERHS, said “I’ve heard this question about a dozen times this week; water is not wet. Water makes other things wet. It’s like asking what color is the number 7.”

According to, water is not wet. “Wetness is our description of what we feel when we put our hand in water. Saying water is wet is like saying that wood is hard or fire is hot.
Sensory receptors on our hand send information about the water to our brain. Our brain receives the information from our sensory receptors and processes it. A combination of temperature, pressure and the way water moves tells our brain that water is wet.”

This debate has been going on for sometime. Sometimes, it may be a distraction to the class environment. Junior Darrell Mensah said, “It has been a little bit of a distraction but it’s just people getting their point across. I Googled it and Google says water is not wet. People should understand that objects are only wet once they come out of the water.”

“Water isn’t wet. Check Google, It’s pretty played out. Hasn’t affected my classes though,” said junior Bryanna Favors.

Although Google and teachers are saying water is not wet there are still some that believe that water is wet. Junior Alexis Hayes responded to the question by very enthusiastically saying, “Water is wet. It’s wet because it cannot be dry.”

This question has lead to a couple other questions to float around. Questions such as, “Are there two holes in a straw? Is water dry? Is fire hot? Is fire burnt?” When asked the straw question, Dr. Oram responded in laughter, then said “ I would say a straw has one hole.”

It’s all about perception and word choice when asking the question. Is water wet? No, but we feel wetness when touching water. Is fire burnt? No, but fire does burn things; we see that based on our sense to see. We feel water based on our sense to touch. But water itself cannot be wet, unless it is in its solid form.