Weird Water

From surf to snowflakes, where would we be without water? The answer is … we wouldn’t! Water is like an essential friend we frequently take for granted. Being inside and around us in so many different ways means most of us are unaware of how WEIRD water can get.

For example: most solid elements and compounds sink if gently dropped into their liquid form. NOT WATER! We all know ice floats, but did you realise none of us would be here if water “behaved” and followed the same rules as the other compounds? H2O molecules behave a bit like magnets, which leads to other weird things about water, like liquid water’s sticky skin-like property. Check out these and other water wonders in rhyme:

  • Ice Floats & Water Droplets from the book Celia Berrell’s Science Rhymes (also a Kindle).
  • Camel Calamity & Cloud Calls from the free download (preview here).
  • then enjoy a cool & caring poem about Snowflake Nucleation below.


2017 is the International year of Sustainable Tourism. As visitors to planet Earth, how we appreciate and care for limited resources such as water is important for our FUTURE EARTH (which is the school theme for the next National Science Week).

At Science Rhymes, we’d love to include your poem about the beauty, mystery and/or environmental significance of water on our website as we lead-up to National Science Week in Australia (12-20 August 2017). So put on your poetry hat over the December-January break and take the plunge! Send your H2O poems to

Have you ever wondered why a kettle coming to the boil makes so much noise? Let Me Out was first published in CSIRO’s children’s science magazine Scientriffic #90.

Let Me Out! by Celia Berrell

When kettles boil, escaping bubbles
make them rattle, roar and wobble.
Why then, do they wheeze and hiss
before we see some steamy mist?

The element in kettle’s base
is warming water in that place.
Tiny bubbles first appear
and start to float up in the air.

But since the water higher up
is still quite cool, those bubbles flop.
They hiss and wheeze their fizzled fate
returning to their liquid state.

Until the water near the top
of kettle’s body’s all warmed up
the water vapour can’t get out.
That hiss is like a whispered shout …

     LET ME OUT!



We use the word vapour for a gas which easily changes into tiny liquid particles. A boiling kettle has steam coming out of its spout. Steam is hot water vapour. Water molecules that become too energetic to stay inside the kettle as a liquid escape as invisible water gas. But those water molecules quickly turn back (condense) into tiny water droplets as they touch a cooler surface or mix with cooler air. So steam we can see coming out of a kettle is similar to a cloud, mist or fog. It’s made from water gas condensing into tiny water droplets that float in the air.