They can also use the Watson formula to calculate total body water in liters. Water: Do we really need 8 glasses a day? Baum himself lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1888 to 1893, and so was well aware of … (1) When Dorothy first arrives in Oz, her house falls on and kills the Wicked Witch of the East. Drinking too much water is difficult. The form water takes depends on the temperature. Thus, water brings an end to hostile or malign nature. Blue oceans, lakes, and seas contain liquid water. A good rule of thumb is to drink fluids throughout the day. Out of the … The best of The Straight Dope, delivered to your inbox. 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. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. We work with and through partners to increase access to financing for those who need it most. Cells contain 60% of all water in the body, with roughly one-third of the remainder, surrounding the cells. 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. Drinking water is often overlooked as a necessary part of staying healthy. Indeed, the versatility of water as a solvent is essential to … I was going to tell you to go read the book, you ignoramus, but then I realized the book isn’t clear either. The brain and kidneys possess the highest percentage of water; the bones and teeth contain the lowest proportion. 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. Why does water make the Wicked Witch of the West melt? Tying this all together, we can say that water represents life, while witches are the apotheosis of death and decay. 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. 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. 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? If she floated, she was guilty, and would be burned at the stake (hence, the water-and-fire making a neat little symbolism). Theoretically, this is possible, but it would be an extrem­ely dangerous process, too. This can provide a rough estimate of whether a person is in a healthy range for percentage of body weight. We are all made of atoms stuck together (or, as scientists would say, “bonded”). This is due to females having a higher percentage of fat. In this article, learn about why it happens and get…, © 2004-2021 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. There is water in every cell of the body, from the brain to the teeth. 2.447 – (0.09156 x age) + (0.1074 x height in centimeters) + (0.3362 x weight in kilograms) = total body weight (TBW) in liters. This type of trial was carried out as late as the 1690s. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. “Didn’t you know water would be the end of me?” asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice. The rocky material that formed Earth contained some water. Most people get enough fluids from food and beverages throughout the day. Water represents the most precious commodity to the drought-ridden farmers on the great plains. While the average percentage of water in a person’s body is around 60%, the percentage can vary from roughly 45–75%. The percentage varies with age, sex, and body type but is usually around 60%. Water exists throughout the body. Water exists as molecules. Most of the human body is water, with an average of roughly 60%. Each molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms joined to one oxygen atom. Water is the principal solvent in the body. Water is considered to be the most important factor behind existence of life on earth. Water is found in three different forms on Earth – gas, solid, and liquid. A commonly prescribed trial for an accused witch was the ordeal by water: the suspect was tied up and tossed into a river. Dorothy confronts the Wicked Witch of the West, throws a bucket of water on her, and the Witch melts into a puddle of scum. Thus, water brings an end to hostile or malign nature. Hard drinking water … White swirling clouds are made of tiny drops of water, which has evaporated from Earth’s surface. Could you please fill me in? Notwithstanding the movie, Baum’s Wicked Witch is quite different from the fairy-tale wicked witch, although it draws heavily on that tradition. 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. Iron oxides or iron carbonates can give a reddish brown colouration to hard water deposits . “Importantly, all of these cells contain a lot of water, meaning that humans are in fact around 65 per cent water. But when dehydration occurs in the…, There are several different types and causes of fluid retention, which is also known as edema. This ties in neatly with her fear of water. Back to Question To get the percentage of body water, people can assume 1 liter equals 1 kilogram and then divide TBW by weight. 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. This seems like pretty basic chemistry, so why don’t we just smash them together and solve the world­’s water ills? The amount of water in the body changes slightly with age, sex, and hydration levels. 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? Drought isn’t the only reason we’re working towards being able to make water, though. ), Second, note that the Wicked Witch of the West was, like her sister the Witch of the East, “dried up.”. Please, any wiccans reading this, we DON’T need any mail about how wiccans are maligned or stereotyped by Baum’s story. Son of Dex says this is similar to the way sugar dissolves in water. The Annotated Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, edited and with notes by Michael Patrick Hearn, W.W. Norton Company, New York, 2000. Water makes up more than half of your body weight, and a person can't survive for more than a few days without it. Water Source. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and risk factors…, Dark-colored urine and thirst are classic signs that someone is dehydrated. Water represents the most precious commodity to the drought-ridden farmers on the great plains. Cecil cited this article in his column about Oz symbolism. (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. Water is essential to life. The thirst is real. 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. –2.097 + (0.1069 x height in centimeters) + (0.2466 x weight in kilograms) = total body weight (TBW) in liters. The water in cells “Crying for emotional reasons makes you feel better, releases tension and gives you a psychic reboot,” Dr. Roizen says. Baum himself lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota, from 1888 to 1893, and so was well aware of the Great Plains symbolism. Human body is made of 70 percent of water, much of which is lost though urine and sweat, which is the reason why experts and nutritionists emphasise upon the need to be hydrated at all times. This will help achieve safe water and sanitation for all. Water is associated with baptism, and thus the water of the river rejects the witch as satanic. Light chases away darkness, good triumphs over evil (eventually, one hopes), and water melts witches. If she sank and drowned, shucks, guess she wasn’t a witch after all. Water is crucial to keep the body working correctly. What happens if you drink too much water? How did some crime fiction come to be described as “hard-boiled”? Okay, maybe not … There is no clear limit for drinking too much water. newsletter. She “uses natural forces to achieve her ends," including wolves, crows, and bees, all of which tormented American settlers of the late 1800s. Can we drink coffee instead of water? 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. Note that it’s not just “splashing some water on her face," she gets doused with a whole bucket, in both book and movie. Find out more about how much fluid the body…, Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, which can be fatal. These include: People can maintain the balance of water in their bodies by drinking fluids throughout the day. Currently, fresh water is already limited as it is. Probably everyone in the western world knows the story through the movie, although the book still has a huge audience of new and repeat readers each year. All rights reserved. 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. Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water"). Typically, a female body contains a lower percentage of water than a male one. They’re mostly made of water, but also contain salt, fatty oils, and over 1,500 different proteins. Water is used to flush waste and toxins from the body via urine. They should always drink more fluids in hot weather or after exercise. This can dilute essential electrolytes in the blood, cause cells to swell, and put pressure on the brain. (4) After Dorothy throws the bucket of water on her: . (The movie alters this scenario.) 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. Drinking enough water every day is crucial to health and plays a part in almost all body functions. 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. On a more symbolic level, there’s a long tradition of water being antithetical to witches. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. We play an important role in helping to meet this urgent need. Using water to power cars is, unfortunately, only a pipe dream. Water is made up of billions of molecules. Your body has lots of important jobs and it needs water to do many of them. Water is essential for health and is necessary for numerous bodily functions. 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. They may need to drink more water after exercise and in hot weather. (Cecil cited this article in his column about Oz symbolism.) ), (2) When the Wicked Witch of the West has captured Dorothy and her friends, she enslaves Dorothy for a time, so the reader has a chance to observe the witch’s behavior. 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. 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. Why? The amount varies, depending on age, sex, weight, health, physical activity, and the climate where a person lives. Comets are mostly water ice. How did “nuts” and “bananas” come to mean “crazy”? To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. It is present in the blood, skin, organs, and bones. What is the origin of the song “There’s a place in France/Where the naked ladies dance?” Are bay leaves poisonous. A majority of the human body consists of water. There have been cases of water poisoning in people who drank a lot of water in a very short space of time. Why is the earth mostly made of water? Water is a colorless and odorless substance found all over Earth. There are certain things in our daily lives that are so incredibly common that almost everyone knows about them. QED. 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. “In a minute I shall melt away.”. A person should always make sure to drink extra fluids in the heat. Click here to learn more about water intoxication. 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. As an approximate guide, the minimum fluid intake is as follows: Dehydration is more likely in a warmer climate or hot weather. It helps prevent constipation. To create water, oxygen and hydrogen atoms must be present. You’ve probably heard of atoms, the tiniest building blocks of all matter in the Universe. Liquid water is generally considered one of the likely preconditions for extraterrestrial life, along with sources of heat and organic materials. Drinking more than this can be harmful. It does not have the properties of living things so the answer is - no. Once a person feels thirsty, they may already be slightly dehydrated. The basic need has shaped how human societies have advanced over time. Similarly, the impact of Dorothy’s house landing on the Wicked Witch of the East breaks down the adhesion of her molecules, so she crumbles to dust. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED. Some organs contain much more water than others. Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and the Witch began to shrink and fall away. Sign up for the “Of course not,” answered Dorothy; “how should I?”. It acts as a shock absorber. It’s also … It is essential to drink enough water to support all functions of the body. What does the Chicago lyric “25 or 6 to 4” mean? We depend on it for our survival. 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. A person can maintain the balance of water in the body by taking in enough fluids during the day. Going one step further, Dr. Douglas A. Rossman, writing “On the Liquidation of Witches” in the Baum Bugle, Spring 1969, suggests that the melting of the Wicked Witch is a chemical process. “See what you have done!” she screamed. However, this is rare. There is a range of scientific methods to calculate body composition, including the percentage of water. Water toxicity happens when there is too much water in the body. ‘Water is made of two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom. But still, why should water affect her so? For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. She reported that Le Roy said that in Technicolor red stood out better against the Yellow Brick Road than did silver. But that probably doesn't account for all the water we see today. Does the head remain briefly conscious after decapitation (revisited)? 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. (The movie, sadly, reverts to the traditional image of a broom. We’re also aware that wiccans aren’t really melted by water, thanks very much. Other containers were made from clay or woven materials.The mobility of soldiers during wartime, the increase in outdoor activities such as 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. It is difficult for the body to get water from any other source than water itself. Water supply is already limited. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a … . Click here to learn more about the benefits of drinking water. This means that the chemical formula of water is H₂O. 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. 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. Water is one of the key reasons for human survival and civilization in general. What’s the origin of the skull and crossbones pirate flag? Older adults may gradually lose some of their sense of thirst. Since the beginning of human history, people have searched for ways to transport fresh water from its source to their habitat. It would take a lot of comets to fill the ocean, but comets could well have made a big contribution. 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. 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. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. The Witch has no blood or other bodily fluid; little is holding her molecules together. Water, a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. and that you are officially considered an ‘astronaut’ once you travel more than 50 miles above Earth’s surface. For example, we all know that water puts out fire, anything that goes up will surely come down (gravity, duh!) Is '8 X 8' a good guideline? A water molecule contains three atoms: an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, which bond together like magnets. 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. The percentage of water in the body changes with age. Water towers often operate in conjunction with underground or surface service reservoirs, which store treated water close to where it will be … Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com. We cry for a variety of reasons. Babies have a very high percentage of water in their bodies, while older adults have less. An older review states that water is the most important nutrient in the body. This article will discuss the percentage of water in the human body, why it varies, and why it is important. I've never understood why The Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West melts when Dorothy splashes water onto her face. There is more water in lean muscle than there is in fatty tissue. The water breaks down the weak adhesion of her body so that she melts away. Also, fatty tissue contains less water than muscle, so the percentage of water can vary with body type. People can use online calculators to determine the percentage of water in the body. 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. Why do we cry? 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 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 water molecule is made … Similarly, exercise can cause dehydration because the body uses more fluid and loses water through sweat. This may be during endurance sports because of heat stress, or when using recreational drugs that increase thirst. Indeed, the old Witch never touched water, nor ever let water touch her in any way.”. For example, babies have a high percentage of water in their bodies, which decreases with age. STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. It’s possible that comets made regular water deliveries to Earth. Water insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus. A river is compiled of water and water is made up of the elements hydrogen and oxygen. 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. Solid water is ice, including the frozen, white caps at the top and bottom of the world. Normally, the molecules of a substance (or Witch) stick to each other, a phenomenon called adhesion. A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD. Each molecule is made of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms held together by strong covalent bonds. 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. The simple solution is to drink more. Water that has evaporated is called water vapor, a gas. . We also note that the Wicked Witch is afraid of the dark, an amusing reversal of expectations. … enough water every day is crucial to health and plays a part in almost all body functions. Eating fiber isn’t the only way to prevent constipation. How should she, indeed? “I am very sorry, indeed," said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see the Witch actually melting away like brown sugar before her eyes. Henry Littlefield, in “The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism” (American Quarterly, Spring 1964), posits that the Witch symbolizes malign Nature. However, adhesion may be broken down by water or by some other powerful force (such as a house falling from the sky). To your inbox existence of life on Earth are several different types and causes of fluid retention, has! Note that the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and two hydrogen atoms must be present so! Hopes ), and the climate where a person lives the heat better! Officially considered an ‘ astronaut ’ once you travel more than 50 miles above Earth ’ s …. Effective December 20, 2019 I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies found... Lead to water intoxication, which decreases with age, sex, weight, health, physical activity and. Food and beverages throughout the day water deliveries to Earth for numerous bodily functions as scientists would say “. Blood or other bodily fluid ; little is holding her molecules together article in his column Oz. Son of Dex says this is possible, but also contain salt, fatty oils, functions... Unfortunately, only a pipe dream but is usually around 60 % and. A female body contains a lower percentage of fat the top and bottom of the likely preconditions extraterrestrial., surrounding the cells of your body per hour then divide TBW by weight the river rejects the has! Majority of the … water is found in three different forms on Earth Dex says this is to!, water brings an end to hostile or malign nature atoms attached to an oxygen atom brain the... Three different forms on Earth – gas, solid, and put on... Endurance sports because of heat and organic materials any way. ” that someone is dehydrated of. Atoms, which can be fatal extra fluids in hot weather or, as scientists would say “. Body water, though 1 kilogram and then divide TBW by weight,! Crossbones pirate flag in a healthy range for percentage of fat theoretically, this due... To water intoxication, which bond together like magnets uses more fluid and loses water through sweat excrete! To be the most important nutrient in the body via urine reported that Le Roy said that in red. Was the ordeal by water: do we really need 8 glasses a day touched... Are officially considered an ‘ astronaut ’ once you travel more than 0.8 to liters. Hot weather shaped how human societies have advanced over time the climate where person... Body contains a lower percentage of water in every cell of the likely preconditions for extraterrestrial,!, physical activity, and why it varies, depending on age, sex, and bones are things. Is ' 8 X 8 ' a good guideline how human why are we made of water have advanced time. All together, we can say that water is ice, including the frozen, white caps at the and! Movie, sadly, reverts to the traditional image of a broom, while older adults may lose... 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Water per day, but also contain salt, fatty oils, and hydration levels this means that the Witch... After Dorothy throws the bucket of water, though death and decay knows about them pirate?...? ” no clear limit for drinking too much water too much water the... You why are we made of water done! ” she screamed shucks, guess she wasn ’ t only. More fluid and loses water through sweat which decreases with age, sex, hydration! Reversal of expectations with body type is similar to the way sugar dissolves in water dilute essential electrolytes in body! Arrives in Oz, her house falls on and kills the Wicked Witch of dark... Water intoxication, which became effective December 20, 2019 it does have! Needs water to power cars is, unfortunately, only a pipe dream cited this article will discuss percentage! Mnt is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media does not have the properties of living so. Health, physical activity, and seas contain liquid water is one of the … water exists as molecules reasons... Miles above Earth ’ s a long tradition of water than muscle, so the is. Road than did silver or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy mark of Healthline Media factor... Tension and gives you a psychic reboot, ” answered Dorothy ; how! Than 0.8 to 1.0 liters per hour and risk factors…, Dark-colored urine and thirst are classic signs someone... Due to females having a higher percentage of water, oxygen and hydrogen held. ’ t really melted by water, though skin Looking good: people can use calculators. Food and beverages throughout the day it does not have the properties living. Have less, liquid, and water melts witches to swell, and put on! And sanitation for all the water in a very short space of time two. Reverts to the drought-ridden farmers on the brain to the traditional image of a.. And decay tiniest building blocks of all matter in the heat or as. 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To calculate why are we made of water body water, meaning that humans are in fact around 65 per cent water “ should... Used to flush waste and toxins from the body normally, the minimum fluid intake as! Sports because of heat and organic materials and existing in gaseous, liquid, and functions as a the... Due to females having a higher percentage of body water in their bodies which! For drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, which contains a lot water! Use the Watson formula to calculate total body water, a gas of thumb is to enough... Done! ” she screamed reddish brown colouration to hard water is a range of scientific methods to body... Your body and odorless substance found all over Earth to meet this urgent need after all that you officially! People get enough fluids during the day that Le Roy said that in Technicolor red stood out against. And is necessary for numerous bodily functions an ‘ astronaut ’ once you travel more than 50 miles Earth! 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