“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it. This is because there is nothing that can take its place.” Lao Tzu
Did you know you could die when drinking too much water in a short period of time? It is called water intoxication, water poisoning or dilutional hyponatremia. Water intoxication causes an imbalance of the electrolytes in the body leading to a sodium imbalance, which in turn can cause a fatal disturbance in brain functions.
The chemical formula of water is probably the best known of all the chemical formulas: H 2O, meaning that one water molecule contains one hydrogen atom and two oxygen atoms. Even though water doesn’t provide any calories or organic nutrients, it is vital for all known forms of life.
In many religions water has a central place, since it cleanses, it washes away impurities. Furthermore, it is so important to all living creatures. Without water there is no life, but at the same time it can destroy (think of storms, floods and tsunamis).
Also in (Western) philosophies water is considered one of the four elements, together with fire, earth and air. These four elements correspond to the four fundamental states of matter: liquid, plasma, solid, and gas. The twelve zodiac signs are divided into the four elements with Aries, Leo and Sagittarius being fire signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn earth signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius air signs and Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces water signs.
In Chinese philosophy it is one of five elements where the elements are water, earth, fire, wood and metal. Water is yin/feminine and it represents intelligence, flexibility and softness. The concept of Wu Xing, as this is called, is translated as five elements, but it actually stands for something more dynamic. That is the reason why some translate it as five changes, or five phases. Wu Xing is short for Wu zhong liu xing zhi chi, meaning the five types of chi dominating at different times. Water dominates in winter, wood in spring, fire in summer and metal in autumn. The periods between two seasons is dominated by earth.
Also in Hinduism five elements exist: Prithvi (earth), Jal (water), Agni (fire), Vayu (air) and then Akasha (ether). The last element is the space in which everything happens, the undifferentiated cosmic force and it is the only eternal element.
Water covers 71% of the Earth´s surface in the form of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers ponds etc. It is the only molecular substance which exists on Earth in all three forms: solid (frozen), liquid (water) and as a gas (vapor).
1. the clear liquid that has no color, taste, or smell, that falls from clouds as rain, that forms streams, lakes, and seas, and that is used for drinking, washing, etc.
2. an area of water (such as a lake, river, or ocean) (source: Merriam Webster)
The English word water comes from Old English wæter, which comes from Proto-Germanic watar, from Proto-Indo-European wodor, from the root wed-, meaning water. The Dutch water has the same origins.
The Spanish agua and Italian acqua come from Latin aqua, from the Indo-European root ak-, meaning to bend/curve.
Water in other languages:
Categories: Natural phenomena