• Question: how was water originally made and why don't it have any taste?

    Asked by sodiumpolyacrylate to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 14 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Some astronomers think that much of our water originated in space, and was brought here by comets. The elements (hydrogen and oxygen) are produced by nuclear fission in stars, and they react together very easily to form water.

      Taste is the reaction of chemicals to receptors on our tongues (by a chemical reaction). Water is quite a simple molecule, so unless it has impurities in it, there’s not much to react with, so we don’t get a taste.

      Perhaps one of the chemists can give a better answer?

    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      James is right. The sense of taste comes from chemicals in food and drink binding to small receptors on taste buds, these are found on the tongue and around your month. Each receptor and taste bud and taste a slightly different chemical in your food. So if several different receptors have chemicals bound, they can produce complex flavours, such as chocolate. Just a random fact for you, the average tastebud lives only for 10 days, before being replaced, so that new, fresh ones are able to taste your food. Water is very simple and can’t bind to the receptors, so isn’t able to produce a taste. I agree with James about water being produced after nuclear fission

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 14 Jun 2011:


      Mike’s taste bud trivia is fab, and I’ve checked his facts, and he’s right 🙂

      James said that some astronomers believe that water came from comets (as ice that warmed to the point of melting), although some other people believe that it was a natural reaction between the initial amount of hydrogen and oxygen that gathered on early Earth that formed water. There was no oxygen in the air back then, but as creatures have changed, the atmosphere has changed. The water however may have been formed here very early on, or have been brought here. No one knows yet – a job for you to explore, maybe?

      Water does taste different in different areas, so I think a lot of the taste aspect must have something to do with being used to water tasting like nothing, until we compare it to other people’s water that taste like nothing to them. The different minerals in water must create some sort of taste, but I think we just get used to it. I could be talking rubbish, but I think that my ramblings are based on some kind of fact!

    • Photo: David Ingram

      David Ingram answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      I don’t know to either part. But the others have some nice answers