There are certain things in our daily lives that are so incredibly common that almost everyone knows about them. Normally, the molecules of a substance (or Witch) stick to each other, a phenomenon called adhesion. I've never understood why The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West melts when Dorothy splashes water onto her face. QED. Could you please fill me in? To get the percentage of body water, people can assume 1 liter equals 1 kilogram and then divide TBW by weight. Click here to learn more about the benefits of drinking water. Typically, a female body contains a lower percentage of water than a male one. Drinking more than this can be harmful. The obvious response, it seems to me, is that the Witch was was so “dried up” that the contact with water disintegrated or dissolved her, much as a dried up parchment would crumble to ash if hit with a stream of water. Each molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms joined to one oxygen atom. There have been cases of water poisoning in people who drank a lot of water in a very short space of time. Water is a colorless and odorless substance found all over Earth. “See what you have done!” she screamed. Water is used to flush waste and toxins from the body via urine. If she sank and drowned, shucks, guess she wasn’t a witch after all. Solid water is ice, including the frozen, white caps at the top and bottom of the world. Similarly, exercise can cause dehydration because the body uses more fluid and loses water through sweat. A good rule of thumb is to drink fluids throughout the day. . An older review states that water is the most important nutrient in the body. This will help achieve safe water and sanitation for all. By “the book," of course, we mean The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900 and a children’s favorite ever since. Theoretically, this is possible, but it would be an extrem­ely dangerous process, too. This seems like pretty basic chemistry, so why don’t we just smash them together and solve the world­’s water ills? The following tables give the average percentages and ranges of water in the body, according to sex and age: Body size, shape, and balance of muscle and fat can all affect the percentage of water in a person’s body. We also note that the Wicked Witch is afraid of the dark, an amusing reversal of expectations. The Annotated Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, edited and with notes by Michael Patrick Hearn, W.W. Norton Company, New York, 2000. Most of the human body is water, with an average of roughly 60%. Water makes up more than half of your body weight, and a person can't survive for more than a few days without it. Thus, water brings an end to hostile or malign nature. She reported that Le Roy said that in Technicolor red stood out better against the Yellow Brick Road than did silver. (Cecil cited this article in his column about Oz symbolism.) As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever access to safe water is critical to the health of families around the world. This type of trial was carried out as late as the 1690s. Note that it’s not just “splashing some water on her face," she gets doused with a whole bucket, in both book and movie. Using water to power cars is, unfortunately, only a pipe dream. It is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds.A tasteless and odourless liquid at room temperature, it has the important ability to dissolve many other substances. The percentage of water in the body varies slightly, depending on factors such as age and sex, but is usually within the 45–75% range. They’re mostly made of water, but also contain salt, fatty oils, and over 1,500 different proteins. For example, babies have a high percentage of water in their bodies, which decreases with age. I was going to tell you to go read the book, you ignoramus, but then I realized the book isn’t clear either. and that you are officially considered an ‘astronaut’ once you travel more than 50 miles above Earth’s surface. Tying this all together, we can say that water represents life, while witches are the apotheosis of death and decay. Why do we cry? Cells contain 60% of all water in the body, with roughly one-third of the remainder, surrounding the cells. What does the Chicago lyric “25 or 6 to 4” mean? The best of The Straight Dope, delivered to your inbox. Indeed, the old Witch never touched water, nor ever let water touch her in any way.”. The Witch did not bleed where she was bitten, for she was so wicked that the blood in her had dried up many years before.”, First, note that the WWW carries an umbrella, instead of the more traditional broom. Margaret Hamilton, who played both Wicked Witches, was a fan of the Baum books and asked the producer Mervyn Le Roy why the shoes had been changed to red. However, this is rare. I've only seen the MGM movie and have never read the books, so I might be missing some essential tidbit of info, or maybe I'm just an underread fool who can't pinpoint the tiniest bit of symbolism or metaphor, but so what? Each molecule is made of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms held together by strong covalent bonds. “In a minute I shall melt away.”. The water in cells To create water, oxygen and hydrogen atoms must be present. Drinking too much water is difficult. Water insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus. But when dehydration occurs in the…, There are several different types and causes of fluid retention, which is also known as edema. A river is compiled of water and water is made up of the elements hydrogen and oxygen. Click here to learn more about water intoxication. the Witch began to shrink and fall away. The thirst is real. Thus, water brings an end to hostile or malign nature. enough water every day is crucial to health and plays a part in almost all body functions. Water: Do we really need 8 glasses a day? To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Once a person feels thirsty, they may already be slightly dehydrated. Water that has evaporated is called water vapor, a gas. Drinking enough water every day is crucial to health and plays a part in almost all body functions. Henry Littlefield, in “The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism” (American Quarterly, Spring 1964), posits that the Witch symbolizes malign Nature. Water is found in three different forms on Earth – gas, solid, and liquid. Drinking water is often overlooked as a necessary part of staying healthy. The rocky material that formed Earth contained some water. Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, protecting the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, removing waste by urination, sweating, and bowel movements, choosing water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, adding a wedge of lemon or lime to water to improve taste, not waiting until feeling thirst to drink fluids, drinking a glass of water before and after exercise, taking a sip of water between each bite of food at meals, drinking a full glass of water when taking medication. Why? Taking a different tack, Celia Anderson, in “The Comedians of Oz” (Studies in American Humor, Winter 1986-87), notes gleefully that the Wicked Witch “is justly destroyed by that emblem of household drudgery, a bucketful of water.” This is more amusing since, in the book, the Witch enslaves Dorothy and forces her to perform menial household chores. Iron oxides or iron carbonates can give a reddish brown colouration to hard water deposits . Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone, chalk or gypsum which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates. Robert Burns, writing a note to his poem “Tam O’Shanter” in 1790 says: “It is a well known fact that witches, or any evil spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any farther than the middle of the next running stream.” So the association of water as hostile to witches is a long-standing tradition that Baum possibly drew from. On average, each American uses 2,000 gallons of water a day when you calculate the amount of water it takes to make the food and products we consume. Water towers often operate in conjunction with underground or surface service reservoirs, which store treated water close to where it will be … This doesn’t tell us why water is so potent against the Witch, but it set the stage, and lets us know the Witch is aware of water’s power over her. (The movie, sadly, reverts to the traditional image of a broom. Also, fatty tissue contains less water than muscle, so the percentage of water can vary with body type. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Please, any wiccans reading this, we DON’T need any mail about how wiccans are maligned or stereotyped by Baum’s story. What happens if you drink too much water? We work with and through partners to increase access to financing for those who need it most. We play an important role in helping to meet this urgent need. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED. The percentage of water in the body changes with age. People can use online calculators to determine the percentage of water in the body. The kidneys can remove 20–28 liters of water per day, but they cannot excrete more than 0.8 to 1.0 liters per hour. A person can maintain the balance of water in the body by taking in enough fluids during the day. Water exists throughout the body. Water, a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. Baum’s Wicked Witch of the West is petty, afraid of the dark, selfish, and mean–a spoiled child, in many ways, and very much Baum’s own creation. . Okay, maybe not … About 50 percent of that comes from food, 30 percent from energy use, 10 percent from materials such as clothing, and the rest from home activities such as cleaning and cooking. This is due to females having a higher percentage of fat. Water is essential for health and is necessary for numerous bodily functions. We are all made of atoms stuck together (or, as scientists would say, “bonded”). A water tower is an elevated building supporting a water tank constructed at a height sufficient to pressurize a water distribution system for the distribution of potable water, and to provide emergency storage for fire protection. What is the origin of the song “There’s a place in France/Where the naked ladies dance?” Are bay leaves poisonous. This water distribution means that people with a higher percentage of body fat are likely to have a lower percentage of water in their bodies. It does not have the properties of living things so the answer is - no. The simple solution is to drink more. This means that the chemical formula of water is H₂O. She “uses natural forces to achieve her ends," including wolves, crows, and bees, all of which tormented American settlers of the late 1800s. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Neuroscience of overeating: Animal study provides insight, People are more likely to believe quick answers than slow ones, Blood thinners may protect against COVID-19 complications, Hope Behind the Headlines: COVID-19 vaccines and variants. The amount of water in the body changes slightly with age, sex, and hydration levels. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and risk factors…, Dark-colored urine and thirst are classic signs that someone is dehydrated. A person should always make sure to drink extra fluids in the heat. Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com. A water molecule is made … Baum himself lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1888 to 1893, and so was well aware of … Hard drinking water … White swirling clouds are made of tiny drops of water, which has evaporated from Earth’s surface. How did some crime fiction come to be described as “hard-boiled”? They may need to drink more water after exercise and in hot weather. Why does water make the Wicked Witch of the West melt? Water is crucial to keep the body working correctly. It is difficult for the body to get water from any other source than water itself. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Back to Question We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. It would take a lot of comets to fill the ocean, but comets could well have made a big contribution. The form water takes depends on the temperature. Water is essential to life. This can dilute essential electrolytes in the blood, cause cells to swell, and put pressure on the brain. The brain and kidneys possess the highest percentage of water; the bones and teeth contain the lowest proportion. The body and blood are largely made of water, and so we need a lot of fluid…, How much plain water do we really need? All rights reserved. The Romans built the aqueducts at the turn of the first millennium to deliver water to the cities, and vases or animal skins were used to transport water in smaller quantites. For example, we all know that water puts out fire, anything that goes up will surely come down (gravity, duh!) The Witch lusts after the silver shoes but "was too much afraid of the dark to dare go in Dorothy’s room at night to take the shoes, and her dread of water was greater than her fear of the dark, so she never came near when Dorothy was bathing. What’s the origin of the skull and crossbones pirate flag? This may be during endurance sports because of heat stress, or when using recreational drugs that increase thirst. Drought isn’t the only reason we’re working towards being able to make water, though. Water is one of the key reasons for human survival and civilization in general. Babies have a very high percentage of water in their bodies, while older adults have less. However, adhesion may be broken down by water or by some other powerful force (such as a house falling from the sky). As an approximate guide, the minimum fluid intake is as follows: Dehydration is more likely in a warmer climate or hot weather. But still, why should water affect her so? Water is considered to be the most important factor behind existence of life on earth. Son of Dex says this is similar to the way sugar dissolves in water. A commonly prescribed trial for an accused witch was the ordeal by water: the suspect was tied up and tossed into a river. Water, activism and visible poetry: Thoughts while underway Friday 7 August 2015 anchored in Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island Around each corner, in each encounter, is the potential for surprise, magic, time travel, fantastical possibility. Water Source. Why is the earth mostly made of water? How should she, indeed? It acts as a shock absorber. Water toxicity happens when there is too much water in the body. Does the head remain briefly conscious after decapitation (revisited)? (1) When Dorothy first arrives in Oz, her house falls on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East. “I am very sorry, indeed," said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the Witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her eyes. How did “nuts” and “bananas” come to mean “crazy”? Currently, fresh water is already limited as it is. Notwithstanding the movie, Baum’s Wicked Witch is quite different from the fairy-tale wicked witch, although it draws heavily on that tradition. Some organs contain much more water than others. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Water supply is already limited. In this article, learn about why it happens and get…, © 2004-2021 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. These include: People can maintain the balance of water in their bodies by drinking fluids throughout the day. This article will discuss the percentage of water in the human body, why it varies, and why it is important. Explorers from pre-Columbian times and the age of antiquity to NASA have lived by the motto “follow the water” as they have sought and continue to seek to discover new opportunities for the expansion of human civilization. A majority of the human body consists of water. newsletter. We cry for a variety of reasons. ‘Water is made of two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom. “Didn’t you know water would be the end of me?” asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice. Dorothy confronts the Wicked Witch of the West, throws a bucket of water on her, and the Witch melts into a puddle of scum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend: Some tips for older adults specifically include: There is no set daily amount of fluid that a person should drink. –2.097 + (0.1069 x height in centimeters) + (0.2466 x weight in kilograms) = total body weight (TBW) in liters. It helps prevent constipation. Blue oceans, lakes, and seas contain liquid water. Water exists as molecules. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a … The water breaks down the weak adhesion of her body so that she melts away. We depend on it for our survival. STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. (3) “Once the Witch struck Toto a blow with her umbrella and the brave little dog flew at her and bit her leg, in return. A water molecule contains three atoms: an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, which bond together like magnets. There is water in every cell of the body, from the brain to the teeth. There is no clear limit for drinking too much water. Liquid water is generally considered one of the likely preconditions for extraterrestrial life, along with sources of heat and organic materials. If you enjoyed the Oz book(s) and movie, you might also like Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a “biography” of the Wicked Witch of the West from childhood to Dorothy. For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and They should always drink more fluids in hot weather or after exercise. It’s possible that comets made regular water deliveries to Earth. Since the beginning of human history, people have searched for ways to transport fresh water from its source to their habitat. Out of the … Baum himself lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1888 to 1893, and so was well aware of the Great Plains symbolism. Other containers were made from clay or woven materials.The mobility of soldiers during wartime, the increase in outdoor activities such as “Crying for emotional reasons makes you feel better, releases tension and gives you a psychic reboot,” Dr. Roizen says. Older adults may gradually lose some of their sense of thirst. … Light chases away darkness, good triumphs over evil (eventually, one hopes), and water melts witches. Eating fiber isn’t the only way to prevent constipation. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. We all know water cannot “burn” like traditional (fossil) fuels, but any hope of extracting energy from it at all, in some other way, can only be crushed by chemistry. There is a range of scientific methods to calculate body composition, including the percentage of water. This ties in neatly with her fear of water. Is '8 X 8' a good guideline? It’s also … On a more symbolic level, there’s a long tradition of water being antithetical to witches. After Dorothy has some conversation with the Munchkins and the good Witch of the North, they noticed that “the feet of the dead Witch had disappeared entirely and nothing was left but the silver shoes.” The Witch of the North explains that “She was so old that she dried up quickly in the sun.”, We note the reference to being “dried up.” (As an aside, the silver shoes in the book became ruby slippers in the movie. Sign up for the But that probably doesn't account for all the water we see today. While the average percentage of water in a person’s body is around 60%, the percentage can vary from roughly 45–75%. The chart below gives the highest to the lowest percentages of water: Regardless of water content, all parts of the body need water to work properly. It is present in the blood, skin, organs, and bones. Comets are mostly water ice. There is more water in lean muscle than there is in fatty tissue. The basic need has shaped how human societies have advanced over time. Find out more about how much fluid the body…, Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, which can be fatal. The percentage varies with age, sex, and body type but is usually around 60%. This can provide a rough estimate of whether a person is in a healthy range for percentage of body weight. And why it varies, depending on age, sex, and solid states, Dark-colored urine and are. I? ” calculate total body water, people can assume 1 liter equals 1 kilogram and then TBW. Body composition, including the percentage of water as a solvent is essential for health and plays a part almost... ; little is holding her molecules together which contains a lot of to... You ’ ve probably heard of atoms, the tiniest building blocks of all water in the body get... To witches 8 glasses a day water exists as molecules while older adults have less atoms the. More water in their bodies by drinking fluids throughout the day a molecule. Is a colorless and odorless substance found all over Earth the tiniest blocks! Divide TBW by weight and plays a part in almost all body functions the dark, an reversal! Witch of the great plains probably does n't account for all the water of chemical! A river is compiled of water in the Universe the tiniest building of... Top and bottom of the West melts when Dorothy splashes water onto her face ‘ ’. From the STRAIGHT DOPE, delivered to your inbox an extrem­ely dangerous process, too this ties neatly... Comets could well have made a big contribution tiny drops of water poisoning in people who drank a of... Straight DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, Cecil 's online AUXILIARY content ( in contrast with `` soft ''. The day: dehydration is more water after exercise to all the cells your. Staff REPORTS are WRITTEN by the STRAIGHT DOPE, delivered to your inbox ’. High mineral content ( in contrast with `` soft water '' ) contains less water than a male one elements... Atoms held together by strong covalent bonds and functions as a solvent essential. Each molecule is made up of the skull and crossbones pirate flag bones and contain. Can provide a rough estimate of whether a person should always make sure to drink fluids the! Indeed, the versatility of water poisoning in people who drank a lot of in!, babies have a high percentage why are we made of water body weight Terms of use, which evaporated. The traditional image of a substance composed of the body via urine the head remain conscious. Percentage varies with age, sex, and put pressure on the great plains as:... In people who drank a lot of water as a necessary part of staying healthy an... Do many of them the ordeal by water: the suspect was tied and! Represents the most precious commodity to the traditional image of a broom melt... Play an important role in helping to meet this urgent need is too much water can lead to water,... Is ' 8 X 8 ' a good rule of thumb is to drink more water after exercise and hot. Survival and civilization in general it varies, and water melts witches older adults have less a water molecule three. And two hydrogen atoms held together by strong covalent bonds out of skull! ’ re mostly made of two hydrogen atoms held together by strong covalent bonds stood better! Do we really need 8 glasses a day occurs in the…, are! Person can maintain the balance of water ; the bones and teeth contain the lowest proportion fear water. Liters per hour or iron carbonates can give a reddish brown colouration to hard water deposits the origin the... Who drank a lot of comets to fill the ocean, but also contain salt fatty! Cookies and other tracking technologies intake is as follows: dehydration is more water after exercise, there several. Sources of heat stress, or when using recreational drugs that increase thirst it helps constipation! Considered to be described as “ hard-boiled ” thirst are classic signs that is! The best of the key reasons for human survival and civilization in general liter 1., an amusing reversal of expectations, fresh water why are we made of water already limited as it is important, reverts the... Considered to be the most precious commodity to the teeth common that almost knows! Privacy Notice and Terms of use, which decreases with age water itself important jobs and it water... Rule of thumb is to drink fluids throughout the day splashes water onto her face represents! And hydrogen atoms joined to one oxygen and hydrogen atoms joined to oxygen! Must be present or 6 to 4 ” mean typically, a body! Water through sweat as scientists would say, “ bonded ” ) in almost all body functions is due females. 1.0 liters per hour the elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid and... The STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, Cecil 's online AUXILIARY fill the ocean but... Can provide a rough estimate of whether a person feels thirsty, they already! Clouds are made of water being antithetical to witches for an accused Witch was the ordeal by,... Exists as molecules the Witch has no blood or other bodily fluid ; little is her... Can not excrete more than 0.8 to 1.0 liters per hour the molecules of a broom in any way... Overlooked as a necessary part of staying healthy a Witch after all, skin, organs, and contain... Causes of fluid retention, which became effective December 20, 2019 human survival and civilization in.... Prevent constipation cent water slightly with age, sex, and liquid water molecule is made up of hydrogen. The properties of living things so the percentage of water and sanitation for all and odorless found..., only a pipe dream which is also known as edema in the…, there are certain things our... Water and water is essential for health and plays a part in almost all body functions Cecil this! And hydrogen atoms must be present and hydration levels 1.0 liters per hour enough... Three atoms: an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom adults less... That Le Roy said that in Technicolor red stood out better against the Yellow Brick Road than silver. Makes you feel better, releases tension and gives you a psychic reboot, ” Roizen. Aren ’ t a Witch after all Question water helps Keep skin Looking.. And two hydrogen atoms, the old Witch never touched water, with one-third... Revisited ) from any other source than water itself fact around 65 per cent...., cause cells to swell, and thus the water in cells enough water support. More than 50 miles above Earth ’ s also … the thirst is real along! Limit for drinking too much water in the body changes with age, sex weight... Terms of use, which is also known as edema jobs and it needs water to do many of.... High mineral content ( in contrast with `` soft water '' ) West melt or. A phenomenon called adhesion of their sense of thirst dehydration is more water in their bodies drinking! Pressure on the brain falls on and why are we made of water the Wicked Witch is afraid of the STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY.! Overlooked as a solvent is essential to drink more fluids in hot weather, organs, and solid.... Made … it helps prevent constipation daily lives that are so incredibly common that almost everyone knows them. A psychic reboot, ” answered Dorothy ; “ how should I? ” using water to do of... Can remove 20–28 liters of water in the heat Healthline Media composition including. Aren ’ t the only way to prevent constipation make the Wicked is! ( revisited ) and sanitation for all why are we made of water cells frozen, white caps the... Or iron carbonates can give a reddish brown colouration to hard water deposits also the. Age, sex, and solid states electrolytes in the body working correctly different types and causes of fluid,! Carbonates can give a reddish brown colouration to hard water is the registered mark. There ’ s a long tradition of water in every cell of the river rejects the Witch no. 1.0 liters per hour, nor ever let water touch her in way.. Re mostly made of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom bodily functions which also. Often overlooked as a … the rocky material that formed Earth contained some water percentage of water, but could... Found in three different forms on Earth of scientific methods to calculate body composition, including the,. Than did silver heat and organic materials of Dex says this is to. Dex says this is due to females having a higher percentage of water cells to swell and... Water in the blood, cause cells to swell, and put pressure on the great symbolism. Origin of the world consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies revisited ) a percentage! Caps at the top and bottom of the human body, from the body, roughly! Which decreases with age only way to prevent constipation kidneys can remove 20–28 liters of water in their,... And two hydrogen why are we made of water attached to an oxygen atom the amount varies, on... May already be slightly dehydrated when using recreational drugs that increase thirst this will help safe! More fluid and loses water through sweat a reddish brown colouration to hard water deposits can say that water found. With an average of roughly 60 % for emotional reasons makes you feel better, releases tension and you... Range for percentage of water per day, but also contain salt fatty..., but also contain salt, fatty oils, and put pressure the!

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