What is it?
What is the most amazing thing in the world that you can think of? Today I want to tell you about one of the most amazing things in the world that I can think of. But, first you get a chance to guess what it is (no looking ahead!). Here are some hints: this thing is all over the earth, but hard to find in outer space; you can’t live without it, but it can also kill you; it can be strong enough to knock down tall buildings; sometimes it is even invisible. What is it? It’s water!
When I was about seven I loved to play LEGO’s with my brother. If the LEGO bad guy was causing trouble, we liked to put him in jail, which really meant that we put him in a plastic zipping baggie filled with water and put him in the freezer for a day. Sometimes when we went to get the LEGO out of the freezer he would be trapped in ice but the baggie had broken along one of its edges. This happened because when you freeze water it spreads out. Water is the only thing that gets bigger when it gets solid. This is why ice floats on water. If it weren’t for the special way God designed ice, the ice in the ocean would go to the bottom of the sea, kill lots of fish, and make the ocean smell really bad. We couldn’t live if ice didn’t float.
I like it when it snows (mostly). Do you? My favorite things to do in the snow are making snow angels and sledding. In some places they have snow on the ground all winter because it doesn’t get warm enough for the snow to melt. The snow just piles up taller and taller . . . sometimes it piles up taller than you are. Since snow is white, it works like a mirror, reflecting heat from the sun so that it doesn’t melt too quickly. If all that snow melted at once, the water would flood everything around it and destroy plants, animals, buildings, and people every year. The way snow melts slowly helps water get deep in the ground and helps plants grow in the spring.
What happens when your family car sits out in the summer heat for several hours with the windows rolled up? It gets pretty hot – even hotter than it is outside. The glass windows let the sunshine in, but keep the heat from escaping. In the same kind of way, clouds trap heat from the sun, keeping the earth warm overnight. Even though the clouds keep us warm, they also keep us cool. The bright white clouds act like mirrors, blocking some of the heat from the sun.
Can you remember a day with no clouds at all? It was probably very hot during the day, but got extra cold at night. Clouds help keep us cool in the day and warm at night.
Do you want to try a fun, simple experiment with water at home? Here’s how to do it. All you need is a comb, your dry winter hair, and a sink. Turn on the faucet so that you have a thin stream of water (make sure it’s a stream – not dripping). Furiously comb your dry winter hair, which will actually give your comb an electric charge. Hold the teeth side of the comb close to the water stream but not touching it. You should see the water bending toward the comb. This is because water acts a bit like a magnet. Try it again!
We can’t live without water, but water is also very dangerous for us. We can drown if we breathe water. People can die from something called “hypothermia” (pronounced “hi-poe-therm-ee-a”) if we get wet and cold at the same time.
Do you ever help your parents do dishes? If you just hold a dirty plate under the faucet, it will sometimes clean stuff off the plate. This is an example of erosion (pronounced “ee-row-shen”), when water pushes things out of its way. The same kind of thing happens when there is a flood, but instead of cleaning a plate, these floods tear up trees, cars, buildings, and even the ground. During Noah’s flood that the Bible talks about, the whole earth was flooded. This swept up dirt from all over the world, laid it down in layers, and carved canyons through the layers it made.
The National Weather Service tells people that water on the road only has to be 18 inches deep to sweep away a car. They tell drivers to “turn around don’t drown” if they aren’t sure how deep the water is.
All living things from plants and animals to people need water to live. Our bodies are actually mostly made up of water. Our bodies do tons of chemical reactions every day, but without water, most of those chemicals couldn’t react and our bodies wouldn’t work. This is why it’s so important to drink lots of water. Jesus says that He gives us living water – we need Him in our lives if we want to live forever in Heaven with God.
Thoughts From Readers
CCK is written by Sara J. Bruegel. If you have a question or comment, please write to Sara at: CreationCluesForKids@gmail.com and it may get published in the next issue. Also, you can visit www.CreationClues.com to read a new clue each week or read past issues of CCK. Cartoon drawn by Eliza Haley.
“Does ice get harder or more frozen as it gets colder?” ~ Nathan B., age 11
Nathan: thank you for asking this thoughtful question. Ice is just solid water. It can’t really get more or less solid unless it’s melting or just partly frozen (like slush). Remember how water spreads out when it freezes? This creates spaces between the water “molecules”. Sometimes if ice and snow gets piled up, the weight pushes down on ice on the bottom, squeezing the ice and making the “molecules” stick together better.
Originally published January 2014. Digitally reformatted December 2014. Copyright Sara J. Bruegel, used with permission.