One of the philosophical inquiries divers and also other marine lovers commonly ask is whether being submerged counts as being wet. Much favor the infamed chick or egg question, this answer often leads to lengthy debates, and in the finish, we retype to saying: it counts. We’ll attempt to present both sides of the dispute, and everyone can decide for themselves.

You are watching: If you are submerged in water are you wet

Defining Wet


According to many dictionaries, the meaning for “wet” is given as extended or saturated via water. To better elaborate, being extended through water needs that an object’s surchallenge should not permit water molecules to penetrate; that is, the water remains on the surchallenge.

Objects that have the right to be saturated with water have actually surdeals with that allow water to penetrate via pores, therefore saturating the object. Three examples that can show wetness clearly are a sponge, a high-quality raincoat, and also a pebble.

A sponge soaks up water, ending up being saturated and for this reason wet.

A pebble (no matter how smooth or rough it is) permits some water to remain on its surconfront and becomes extended by it. Hence, it also can get wet.

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

Scientists better specify wetness and also wettcapacity depending upon just how water molecules connect with an object’s surconfront and whether the surconfront repels or attracts water. These properties have the right to likewise be observed and measured for scientific purposes.

Argument For Yes

Most human being will certainly probably answer that yes, you are wet once you are subunified. They argue that given that being submerged makes you entirely extended via water, it fits the meaning of being wet.


Others argue that as lengthy as the water is making contact through you, you are wet. This is because of their incorrect belief that water itself is wet. However before, wetness is identified as the ability of a liquid to stick to a solid surface. Therefore, water is able to make various other solids wet, but it is not wet.

Due to the fluidity of water (it is a liquid and for this reason a fluid), its surconfront cannot gain wet yet instead mixes through various other liquids. A clear example would be mixing alcohol with water. We cannot say that alcohol is wet once it is in call through water bereason both are liquids. Instead, we say they have actually blended. Some liquids do not mix, such as water and oil or water and mercury.

Argument For No

While it is herbal to assume that being subcombined amounts to being wet, scientists call for more fact-based arguments to decide.

Chemists, physicists, and various other researchers recognize that the definite answer is no; being subcombined does not intend being wet. In clinical terms, wetness is plainly characterized as the adhesion of some liquids to the surconfront of a solid as soon as they come in call through each various other.


Science also mirrors us that some products are hydrophilic (water-loving), and others are hydrophobic (water-fearing). Human being beings are comprised of billions of cells, and our skin allows some penetration of water however not at the same level as sponges. We don’t repel water totally either. Our skin is both hydrophilic and also hydrophobic, which is a complicated feature we possess.

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

Anvarious other debate against equating submersion in water and wetness claims that you are only wet as soon as you leave the water and also not whilst still subunified. That is, fish are just wet once they leave the water. Fish are not wet while being surrounded by water.

The principle is that while being sublinked (and for this reason surrounded by water), water molecules are never before adhering to a solid surchallenge yet moving about it. Unless and also until a solid object leaves the water, the water molecules are not given a chance to wet the surface. Remember that wetness refers particularly to the adhesion of water molecules.

Thus, while being submerged in water, objects (and also people) are not considered 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 a lot of bizarre herbal phenomenon related to wetness and also submersion is exhibited by Antarctic penguins. Penguins have a thin layer of feathers choose many birds. You can have actually noticed that these penguins aren’t constantly extended in a layer of frozen water. The reason being, they never before get wet, even once subcombined in water. Slipping in and also out of ice-cold water is simpler when you are constantly dry.

Penguin feathers are, favor most bird feathers, hydrophobic. Antarctic penguins take it to the next level by trapping tiny air bubbles in them, enhancing their hydrophobic properties. They also have an added hydrophobic coating on their feathers (once compared to various other birds).

When they are underwater, Antarctic penguins are always surrounded by a thin layer of air and also constantly stay dry. You deserve to attempt to replicate this conveniently, with the assist of any form of oil. If a things is initially subcombined and coated with oil thoapproximately, submerging it in water will not make it wet. Even taking the object out of the water, water will certainly completely slide off because oil and water perform not mix (all oils are hydrophobic).

Wetsuits made of neoprene (artificial rubber) attempt to mimic this phenomenon, which is why scuba divers deserve to continue to be comfortable in cold temperatures without risking hypothermia. Neoprene is hydrophobic; that is, it cannot acquire wet.


Although some world choose to dispute about the semantic of being wet and being submerged 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 always be even more compelling than an anecdotal hypothesis that cannot be prrange.

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To sum it up, unless you are outside of a body of water, with water adhering to the surchallenge of your skin, you cannot be taken into consideration wet. Hence, when completely sublinked in water, one cannot technically be wet.