One of the thoughtful questions divers and also various other marine lovers frequently ask is whether being subcombined counts as being wet. Much like the inrenowned chick or egg question, this answer often leads to lengthy arguments, and also in the end, we resort to saying: it relies. We’ll attempt to present both sides of the controversy, and also everyone have the right to decide for themselves.

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Defining Wet


According to a lot of dictionaries, the definition for “wet” is given as covered or saturated via water. To better intricate, being spanned with water requires that an object’s surconfront should not allow water molecules to penetrate; that is, the water remains on the surface.

Objects that deserve to be saturated with water have actually surfaces that allow water to penetrate with pores, for this reason saturating the object. Three examples that have the right to illustrate wetness plainly are a sponge, a high-quality raincoat, and a pebble.

A sponge soaks up water, ending up being saturated and also thus wet.

A pebble (no matter exactly how smooth or stormy it is) allows some water to continue to be on its surface and becomes spanned by it. Hence, it also deserve to gain wet.

A high-quality raincoat neither permits for water to soak right into it nor cover it. Water slips right off the surface, and also so we can say raincoats never before get wet.

Scientists better specify wetness and wettability depending upon exactly how water molecules interact with an object’s surconfront and whether the surface repels or attracts water. These properties have the right to additionally be oboffered and also measured for scientific purposes.

Argument For Yes

Most civilization will certainly more than likely answer that yes, you are wet as soon as you are subunified. They argue that given that being sublinked provides you totally extended with water, it fits the meaning of being wet.


Others argue that as long as the water is making contact with you, you are wet. This is because of their incorrect belief that water itself is wet. However, wetness is characterized as the capacity of a liquid to stick to a solid surface. Hence, water is able to make various other solids wet, yet it is not wet.

Due to the fluidity of water (it is a liquid and also therefore a fluid), its surchallenge cannot gain wet however instead mixes via other liquids. A clear instance would certainly be mixing alcohol through water. We cannot say that alcohol is wet once it is in call with water bereason both are liquids. Instead, we say they have blended. Some liquids carry out not mix, such as water and also oil or water and mercury.

Argument For No

While it is herbal to assume that being subunified equates to being wet, researchers call for more fact-based arguments to decide.

Chemists, physicists, and also various other scientists know that the definite answer is no; being sublinked does not intend being wet. In scientific terms, wetness is clearly identified as the adhesion of some liquids to the surconfront of a solid when they come in contact through each various other.


Science likewise mirrors us that some products are hydrophilic (water-loving), and others are hydrophobic (water-fearing). Person beings are made up of billions of cells, and also our skin allows some penetration of water but not at the same level as sponges. We don’t repel water completely either. Our skin is both hydrophilic and hydrophobic, which is a complex function we possess.

Our skin has actually a (microscopically) rough layer of keratin. The surchallenge of our skin repels water, however some of the water molecules might get trapped in the keratinized layer of our skin.

Another discussion versus equating submersion in water and also wetness claims that you are just wet when you leave the water and also not whilst still sublinked. That is, fish are only wet as soon as they leave the water. Fish are not wet while being surrounded by water.

The concept is that while being subcombined (and also for this reason surrounded by water), water molecules are never adhering to a solid surchallenge but moving around it. Unless and until a solid object leaves the water, the water molecules are not offered a possibility to wet the surconfront. Remember that wetness refers particularly to the adhesion of water molecules.

Therefore, while being sublinked in water, objects (and also people) are not thought about wet because the water is not sticking to them. Especially if you are wearing a wetsuit while snorkeling, water won’t even touch your body.



Probably the many bizarre natural phenomenon related to wetness and submersion is showed by Antarctic penguins. Penguins have a thin layer of feathers favor most birds. You might have actually noticed that these penguins aren’t constantly covered in a layer of frozen water. The reason being, they never obtain wet, even as soon as sublinked in water. Slipping in and out of ice-cold water is easier as soon as you are always dry.

Penguin feathers are, prefer the majority of bird feathers, hydrophobic. Antarctic penguins take it to the next level by trapping tiny air bubbles in them, boosting their hydrophobic properties. They likewise have an additional hydrophobic coating on their feathers (when compared to various other birds).

When they are underwater, Antarctic penguins are constantly surrounded by a thin layer of air and constantly stay dry. You have the right to try to replicate this conveniently, via the help of any type of oil. If an object is initially subcombined and coated via oil thoapproximately, submerging it in water will not make it wet. Even taking the object out of the water, water will completely slide off because oil and also water carry out not mix (all oils are hydrophobic).

Wetsuits made of neoprene (man-made rubber) attempt to mimic this phenomenon, which is why scuba divers have the right to continue to be comfortable in cold temperatures without risking hypothermia. Neoprene is hydrophobic; that is, it cannot get wet.


Although some world choose to controversy about the semantic of being wet and being sublinked in water, tright here is just one clear answer according to scientific research. Arguments based upon pure clinical facts that are both observable and measurable will certainly constantly be more compelling than an anecdotal hypothesis that cannot be prstove.

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To sum it up, unless you are exterior of a body of water, through water adhering to the surchallenge of your skin, you cannot be considered wet. Therefore, when totally sublinked in water, one cannot technically be wet.