May 31, 2023

Food Theory: The SECRET Language of Water

Published May 20, 2023, 3:20 a.m. by Bethany

water is the lifeblood of our planet. It is the source of all life, and it sustains us. Yet, for all its importance, we know very little about water. It is a mystery, hidden from us by its very nature.

But what if we could unlock the secrets of water? What if we could understand its language?

The Secret language of water is a book by The food Theorists that explores the hidden world of water. It is a world full of mystery and wonder, a world that is waiting to be explored.

In this book, The food Theorists take us on a journey into the secret world of water. They show us how water can be used to heal the body, how it can be used to cleanse the soul, and how it can be used to bring peace to the world.

The Secret language of water is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the power of water. It is a book that will change the way you think about water, and it will change the way you live your life.

You may also like to read about:

Can you hear the temperature of water? 

Yes. Yes, you can. Hello, Internet!  

Welcome to Food Theory, the show that's hot for  cool facts. Now, quick test. Listen to this. . . 

*water pouring*

And now this. 

*water pouring*

Which one was the hot water? and  which one was the cold water?

Many people can actually hear the difference  and intuitively tell that pour number one. 

*water pouring*

Was cold water. and pour number two was hot. 

*water pouring*

But how could you tell? It was the same thing.  It was just water. And I can tell you that both  

pours were coming out of the same container  and being poured into the same container.

Why is your ear doing something that I guess  you never told it to do and you maybe even don't  

even realize that it does? Unless of course,  you had yourself a really weird upbringing. 

And the sound of the cow is moo. And the  sound of water at 10 degrees celsius is 

*water pouring*

And why would my ear be so finely tuned to this  very specific thing when most of the time I can't  

tell the difference between the sound of my  cat walking into a room down the hall and a  

burglar coming to kill me in my sleep. Believe  it or not, this first came to my attention when  

I was doing research not for this channel,  but actually our sister channel Film Theory.

During my research, I came across a  fan favorite Sesame Street character,  

Snuffleupagus, spitting mind  blowing facts in front of a drab,  

gray background while somber piano music  played in the background, it was like  

Werner Herzog was conducting this interview,  but nope, it was Vanity Fair the whole time.

And right there in the middle  of all this existential ennui,  

Snuffleupagus drops this truth bomb.

"You can hear the difference between hot and cold water while it is pouring."

I had never heard that before,  and apparently no one else heard  

it from this interview since the sad,  Depressame Street segment didn't exactly  

get itself a lot of views. But it did get  me curious enough to start investigating.

And what I found was that when it comes  to things you eat and in this case drink,  

your body is taking in a lot more information  

than you could possibly realize. Being able  to tell the difference between the sound of  

hot and cold water is at the intersection of  physics, biology, and your own crazy subconscious.

Listen up Friendos, because today we're  talking about how your ears are pulling  

it off and more importantly, why. And  then we're going to put team theorist to  

the test to see how far you can stretch this  superpower, this Sup-EAR-power. Superpow-EAR 


Still workshopping the puns on this one. In the  case of hearing water, your ears fine tuning to  

the sound, may be fundamental to your survival as  a human being. While, a lot of the world takes  

water for granted now, this certainly wasn't the  case in the early days of human evolution. The  

aquatic ape hypothesis is the theory that Homo  sapiens, this special brand of ape that we are,  

evolved based on their ability to stay near  bodies of water so they didn't dry out.

We as a species are very sensitive  to dehydration and early survival,  

dependent on our ability to literally hunt  clean water in our environments. We Homo  

sapiens had to track hidden sources of water  through sight, smell and of course, sound.

Honestly, it's the same way our team hunts down  theories: desperately and for the survival of  

our jobs. Our ability to sense water in so many  ways meant that our zillionth great grandmother  

didn't die of dehydration, thereby paving the  way for us and every last non-flavor of La Croix.

I’m sure, this is a proud moment  for all our great, great, great,  

great, great, great ancestors. But still,  understanding why we're very evolved to  

hear water doesn't tell us how our  ears are actually doing it. First,  

what's the difference between  the sound of hot and cold water?

We can tell that there's a perceptible  difference, but it's hard to actually  

put a finger on it. When it comes to sound,  the biggest difference that we as humans can  

perceive is pitch. So for this theory, we started  by looking at the pitches of hot and cold water.

In 2017, an alert Internet user named  Intelligent Sound Engineering posted  

this article where they analyzed the relative  pitches of hot and cold water pores to see  

if they actually produced different  notes. They generated a spectrogram,  

a visualization of sound  that lets you see the pitch.

If you're an Interneter or a fan  of our big brother channel Game  

Theory, finding ways to visualize sound  is a particular favorite of sneaky ARG  

makers and horror game programmers.  So this stuff is like old hat to you.

Intelligent sound engineering's graphs look  like this. It’s pretty surprising data. You  

can see that the pitch of water is almost the  same for both the hot and cold water pours,  

cold being the top one and hot being the bottom.

The only difference in spectrogram you can  see is that weird swoopy bottom line in the  

cold sample. It turns out that a water pour is  multi-tonal or made up of more than one pitch,  

and in the cold water sample it  produces a strong lower note.

Your ear doesn't wind up hearing two notes  at once. It just hears a blending of those  

two pitches, meaning that the total  cold water sound is slightly lower  

than the hot sample. But why would  that be? They're both just water.

Why would they possibly be producing  different notes? To answer that,  

we turn to everyone's least favorite 10th  grade class chemistry or physics. To be honest,  

the answer involves both of them. So whichever  one was the worst for you: got it covered.

While water is always water, always going  to be H2O. We know intuitively that water  

does very different things at different  temperatures. We know at zero degrees  

Celsius it changes to a solid: ice. And we know  at 100 degrees Celsius it changes to a gas: steam.

So it makes sense that when water  is closer to zero degrees Celsius,  

it behaves a little more like ice. And when  it's closer to a hundred degrees Celsius,  

it behaves a little more like steam. To see that  difference, though, you're going to have to look  

at how water moves and flows within a cup.  And I'm talking like molecule levels of close.

How fast water flows or really how fast  anything flows is called viscosity. If  

you think of something viscous, usually you  think of something thick and sticky: syrup,  

honey, molasses. When people  used molasses back in the day.

All things that are thick and slow moving like  me after Thanksgiving dinner. If something  

has high viscosity, it's slow and hard to  pour. Low viscosity is the exact opposite,  

fast and easy to pour. But then what is  viscosity? Well, at the very basic level,  

it's how well the molecules  in the liquids stick together.

More viscous liquids have molecules that resist  moving or pouring. They just want to stick  

together. But we're comparing water to water  rights. They're the same molecule. How could  

they possibly be different? Well, when you heat  molecules, they behave differently. In cold water

molecules are moving slower and they have more  chances to stick together, hang out, shoot the  

breeze and actually line up so their polar ends  create a strong lattice that's harder to break;  

more viscous. On the other hand, when you heat  water, the molecules inside move really fast,  

like way too fast to stop and say hello  to all the other little molecule friends.

No one’s sticking together, no one's hanging  out. So when you pour that hot water,  

it's actually easier to move those molecules.  There's no friends, there's no attachments.  

On top of that. Any air bubbles that are trapped  in the liquid during the pouring process rise to  

the surface and pop much faster in a thin, low  viscosity liquid because it's literally easier  

for bubbles to move through thin liquids  instead of trying to get through something  

viscous where they're going to get stuck. We don't perceive these sorts of differences  

as the water pourer, we’re just the giant  oafs who have no idea about the microscopic  

forces that are happening inside of our  hands. But our ears can actually tell all  

of this. The difference between hot and cold  that you perceive is your ears recognizing a  

difference in viscosity. Which you got to admit  is pretty incredible in theory, IN FOOD THEORY!

But what I want to do is see it in person and  test its limits. Just how good are our ears in  

telling the differences in water temperature?  For that, we needed a little less theory and  

a little more Do-y. Luckily, I had a few  spare theorists hanging around the house.

Opening clap.


That was crisp.

That was a good one.

Solid in the zone.

You’ll see us all go… That shook the rafters.

After deafening all the test  subjects by clapping in their ears,  

I set them to the task of distinguishing  between very hot and very cold water.

So just to get things started here,  I figure let's just test the basic  

premise. Can you actually hear a difference  between two extreme temperatures of water? 

So what we've got set up here for experiment  one is a 200 degree Fahrenheit option and  

a 50 degree Fahrenheit cold water option.  And for all of you international viewers,  

we brought in Tom from overseas.  He can translate that to you. 

That is 93 degrees Celsius  and 10 degrees Celsius. 

He's like a savant. I don't know how to do this. 

We might have fed him those  numbers before we started. 

I mean, our system makes way  more sense than yours so.

We did eventually pour the water.

*cold water pouring*

*hot water pouring*

Which of those two, first or second,  would you say was the hot water?

All three test subjects immediately  identified the sound of hot water,  

but each of them described  what they heard differently.

I wasn't really hearing much of a difference  in like pitch or anything as much as I heard,  

like a difference in intensity and like  energy. Like the second pour sounded  

duller to me like more, almost more hollow. See it's interesting because you mentioned  

the dullness of the sound, but for  me, I was tuning into the pitch of it,  

and the second one sounded lower to me.  I don't quite know how that translates,  

but I was like, I can tell one is high  at one feels higher or one feels lower. 

Like Ryder I actually didn't hear the difference  in the pitch. I actually felt like I could tell  

a difference in texture, for lack of a better  word. I felt like the second one was smoother  

and less chunky and splashy, and for me, I  associated that with a warmer temperature.

The fact that they could hear something and  all tell the difference was boding well for  

the next step in the theory, differentiating  between lots of different temperatures. 

For this experiment I actually prepped five  different temperatures, both the very hot and very  

cold temperatures that we used before, plus an  additional three in the middle to see if our ears  

were finely tuned enough to be able to place water  temperatures in order from coldest to hottest.

The temperatures we tested were 5 degrees  Celsius, 25, 50, 75 and 95 degrees Celsius.  

To see if our ears could distinguish temperatures  that were about 20 degrees Celsius of difference.

How’re you feeling Steph? I feel really nervous, actually. I genuinely feel,  

like, jittery about this. Food Theory is not  usually a test for us. It's usually a test, for  

like, some random TikToker with a terrible recipe.  But I really feel in the hot seat on this one.

Stephanie wasn't alone.  Everyone had similar feelings.

That's a lot of pressure. 

And Ryder, how familiar are you  with the sound of water pouring? 

Vaguely. Like I know it if I heard it. Well, you're going to hear it a lot. 

All right Tom, how are you feeling? I am terrified to get this wrong. 

Why, this is a safe space. This is a safe space, okay…

Yeah, right. Safe space. That's  why I set this whole thing up to  

look like they're sitting there for water torture.

Okay. Are you ready? I'm ready. This is pour  

number one. Okay. 

*water pouring*

That sounds cold. 

Should I be writing things down? Can I hear one again?  

*water pouring*

Okay. Can I go back to pour number two?

Oh, shoot.

*water pouring*

Throaty. Hmm. Let's see. Right, okay.

Honestly, the test subjects actually  did better off the bat than I expected.

Take me through your thought process. Okay. So pours four and five both sound  

cold to me. Pour three sounded...Sorry.  Pour two sounded hot to me. And then the  

pours one and three felt like they were medium  hot. That's where I'm sitting right now. So… 

The very first one had this very, like, high end  splash to it. There was a very, there was a very  

crisp sound to it. That one was a bit throaty,  a bit in the midrange, like *Ryder noises*.

The end results, though, were mixed.

Hey! How did I do? 

You did surprisingly well. Yes! Okay. Okay. How many do I get right? 

So, Stephanie. Okay Yes? 

You got three right. Okay. 

Which is, I mean, honestly, really impressive. Which also means that all I did was presumably  

switch two, right? Correct. And they were  

the two that were next to each other. Shoot, Ryder has perfect pitch he's  

going to get all of them. He's going to be the  one that beats me. Tom is going to get none. 

Tom's not going to get any. Tom's hearing… That's my prediction. Ryder, I'm counting  

on you to get them all. Tom, I, I, I have  faith that you'll put a point on the board. 

All right Ryder Yeah what’s up? 

You got one. Nice. 

So you were close with all of your assessments. Cool, I failed. 

You know what? I think we all won,  because we all learned something today. 

Ahh, nah. I failed. Yeah, you failed. 

Well, Tom, I have exciting news. Okay. 

We have a first for this competition. Okay, well, this is either  

very good or very, very bad. Actually, it's not. You got one right. 

Yeah! I tied with Ryder! There is a reason  I'm doing the lore theories on Game Theory. 

Really, across the board it was like,  let me just throw a bunch of things at a  

dartboard and maybe some of them will stick. I was trying to listen to pitch. Pitch was  

not the answer. You gotta listen  

to the texture, Tom. Texture? IT’S WATER!

Even though none of our test subjects  correctly identified all five waters  

in order. Since Steph was the closest, we  decided to go ahead with one final experiment:  

identifying three temperatures of water  with only ten degrees Celsius between them.

And so, it is down to you. And it is down to me. Ahh, Stephanie, we meet again. 

I am shocked that I made it to this  round actually. I'm, I'm genuinely super  

surprised and also delighted. So now for this final round,  

we're going to see how precise you can get. This  time, we've only narrowed it down to a ten degrees  

Celsius gap. So we have three cups: One is 25  degrees Celsius, one is 35 degrees Celsius and  

one is 45 degrees Celsius. That seems really hard. 

It shouldn't be That seems REALLY difficult. 

But you know what? I have  faith in you, I believe in you. 

I don't want to let us down. I  don't want to let down science! 

So, without any further ado, because I don't want  these to cool off. Okay, let's go. Let's begin.  

*water pouring*

Welcome to 15 minutes of pouring water.

How long will people be willing to watch?

*water pouring*

Okay, okay.

Stephanie has her results.

You got one right. Awww, so close.

Dang it. So close. You got the coldest. We've  

definitively shown that there is a limit here. I feel like with practice, I could get this! 

A very useful skill. I want to try again!!

Unfortunately, no one volunteered to stay  late on a Friday night to pour more water  

for Steph. So we wrapped the experiment and  came away with some interesting results.

We, as people, are exceptionally well  tuned to detect the sound of water,  

and almost all of us have the innate ability  to distinguish between very hot and very cold  

water. It's an innate ability that  we don't even realize that we have.

There's even evidence, based on our very small  sample size that people can actually tell the  

difference in water that's at least 20 degrees  Celsius apart in temperature. Once you get  

below that, though, the sounds aren't really  different enough for human ears to detect.

The takeaway of all of this is that  your ears are able to detect way more  

than just changes in pitch. They're  able to detect the actual texture,  

quality, and in our case, viscosity  of the things in the world around you.

Usually the advice on YouTube content is to not  try the things that you see on screen at home,  

but this one you can and absolutely should try  at home. During our filming, other people not  

participating on camera asked if we could  run them through the experiment off camera.

Honestly, it's super fun. The absolute lamest  fun that you can have on a Friday night,  

which is the type of fun that, you know,  all of us here at Theorist love. So let us  

know if you can beat our record and tell  us your results down in the comments.

And as always, remember, it's just a  theory, A FOOD THEORY. Bon appétit.

If you thought today's episode was surprising,  I am literally just getting started with all  

the things that your five senses can do with  water. Think your body's only superpower is  

sensing the temperature of water? how  about the power to change the flavor  

of water without adding anything to it? I'm  100% serious. This is yet another real live  

science experiment that you can do yourself  at home. Thanks to our sponsor for today's  

episode. Air up water bottles. Ever hear  that taste and smell are closely linked?

Well, air all takes the science that links  taste and smell and uses it to create  

delicious tasting water without adding a single  thing to it using their incredibly effective,  

incredibly long lasting scent rings. Your  brain is tricked into believing that you're  

drinking flavored water without any of the  actual additives, preservatives or sugars.

When I heard about this, I was pretty skeptical.  I'm a man of science. Even though something could  

work in theory, it doesn't mean that it's going  to work in real life. But this does. In fact,  

I use air up almost every day because I don't  like drinking water that doesn't have flavoring.

But also when I add flavorings, usually they  have like aspartame or artificial sweeteners,  

stuff that I'm actively drinking  water to try and avoid inserting  

into my daily diet. My daily water intake  has skyrocketed thanks to this water bottle.

I love their product so much that  I'm the one who reached out to them  

and here we are. It is wonderful,  it’s not overpowering. It's a light,  

easy to drink, level of flavor. You can  also just pop the scent novel down away  

from your nose and you immediately just  revert back to regular unflavored water.

The science of all of this is just  so cool. I use my air up all the  

time and I'm excited that they decided  to be a sponsor here. So go show them  

some love and try the most hydrating  science experiment that you'll ever do.

They actually have a bundle right now  that they're calling The Naughty List,  

which has some very cool flavors attached to it:  orange vanilla mango, passionfruit, and raspberry  

lemon. Though I got to say, my personal favorite  is Wild Berry from their berry all the way set.

Anyway, the bottom line here is that  there's something here to make your  

taste buds happy and to use science to get  seriously hydrated this holiday season. 

Their Black Friday sale actually  starts early, so you don't have  

to wait until after Thanksgiving to  get good prices on any of this stuff.

Again, I cannot tell you enough how cool I think  the air up water bottle is, so click the link  

down in the description below to check them out  and see just how crazy our bodies are when it  

comes to the fluids that we're able to consume. Bottoms up, my friends. I'll see you next week.


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