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Light in the visible electromagnetic spectrum can traverse a couple meters of pure water (or ice) without significant absorption, so that it looks transparent and colorless.
Thus aquatic plants, algae, and other photosynthetic organisms can live in water up to hundreds of meters deep, because sunlight can reach them. Through a thickness of 10 meters or more, however, the intrinsic color of water (or ice) is visibly turquoise (greenish blue), as its absorption spectrum has a sharp minimum at the corresponding color of light (1/227 m at 418 nm).
The refraction index of liquid water (1.333 at 20 °C) is much higher than that of air (1.0), similar to those of alkanes and ethanol, but lower than those of glycerol (1.473), benzene (1.501), carbon disulfide (1.627), and common types of glass (1.4 to 1.6).
The maximum density of water in its liquid form (at 1 atm) is 1,000 kg/m Thus, water expands 9% in volume as it freezes, which accounts for the fact that ice floats on liquid water.
Water is also central to many sports and other forms of entertainment, such as swimming, pleasure boating, boat racing, surfing, sport fishing, and diving.
The word "water" comes from Old English "wæter", from Proto-Germanic "*watar" (source also of Old Saxon "watar", Old Frisian "wetir", Dutch "water", Old High German "wazzar", German "Wasser", Old Norse "vatn", Gothic "wato"), from Proto-Indoeuropean "*wod-or", suffixed form of root "*wed-" ("water"; "wet")) is a polar inorganic compound that is at room temperature a tasteless and odorless liquid, nearly colorless with a hint of blue.
Evaporation and transpiration contribute to the precipitation over land.
Large amounts of water are also chemically combined or adsorbed in hydrated minerals.
Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.