Day 329: A Brief History of Water

A Brief History of Water
Matt Zurbo

(Kid, about to tip out a glass of water, startled, looking at reader.)

“That’s water you’re about it tip out.
(Dad-like figure, hand holding up glass. Kid looking at it, perplexed.)

Did you know that some of the water in this glass is over 4.6 billion years old?
That’s older than the sun!
(Dad and kid looking at glass of water. The sun, huge, and space behind them.)

Woh, you’re doing my head in!
(Kid, holding head, dizzy.)

Haha, sorry. Some of it came from the ice on asteroids and meteorites when the Earth was formed.
(Suitable image.)

Some of it came from the molten lava that first formed the planet.
Over millions and millions (and millions) of years, the moisture from the cooling rocks, condensed into clouds, that made the oceans.
(Suitable image.)

(Kid, slack-jawed, goggle-eyed.)

And all life then came from the sea.
(Kid and Dad in small row boat, Dad still holding up glass of water. All sorts of marine life and dinosaurs, mostly aquatic, beneath them, breaching surface, and some flying.)

That’s where all the fresh water starts from. Even in this glass!
The sea!
(Kid and Dad, small, with glass of water, standing on a point, as huge storm cloud builds over ocean behind them.)

Rain that travels mountains, rivers, streams…
(Somebody looking tiny as they kayak huge river rapids.)

That becomes glaciers…
(Dad holding glass, back to us, looking up through snow at brilliant glacier. Kid in foreground, running from a polar bear.)
Imagine what that glass of water has seen over 4.6 billion years!?

I mean, 60% of the human body is water. It all goes somewhere when you die.
(Dad, pondering. Kid holding own shirt, looking at himself, horrified.)
You’re messing with my brain! Tell me fun stuff!

You’re brain? 70% of your brain is made of water…
Gah! FUN, I said!
(Dad holding glass, smiling, pointing to brain. Kid, tongue out, disgusted.)

Well, the first pool was recorded in Pakistan, over 5,000 years ago.
(Image of ancient Pakistanis working on first pool.)

But the Egyptians invented proper pools, often heated by underground springs.
They bathed in them and had fish and sports. Sometimes to the death.
(Kid and Dad either sitting on pool edge, dangling feet in either side of a pharaoh/king, while fish swim about them, and slaves pour more water in.)

Imagine… the way the Earth spins, water dries, turns to vapours, reforms… You could be holding some of that history now.
(Dad handing glass to kid. Kid looking angry, shouting, but taking glass.)
Pfft! FUN!

The first water balloon was in 1950.
The man was trying to invent a waterproof sock, but when it leaked he threw it in anger.
(1050s man with diagrams and tools throwing water-filled sock at wall, kid ducking. Dad standing there as it passes, making ‘sloosh’ gesture.)

“Hey, I’m onto something…”
(Close-up of Dad smiling, looking at inventor, who has hand on chin. Kid holding glass, sitting down on floor.)
The first water balloon was a sock? I need to sit down.

It’s all the water gods I like to think of.
The Aboriginal Wimpa, creator of rain.
The Aztec, Atlaua.
Celtic, Li Ban
Chinese, Gonggong, the red-haired dragon, responsible for floods.
The Egyptian, Sobek (half crocodile, half man.)
The Hindu, Danu
Indonesian, Dewi Lanjar and Nia Roro Kidul
The Maori, Taniwha
Mayan, Chaac, god of rain
The Norse, Ran
(Double page. Kid and Dad walking along line-up of gods. Dad casually holding up glass of water.)

The Greeks were a fishing culture. They had over 50 sea gods!
Cymopoliea, goddess of big waves
The Graeaea – three sea gods that shared one eye.
Poseidon – king of all sea gods.
Tethys, goddess of fresh water.
(Same, but Greek gods.)

All in this glass…
(Kid in awe, and Dad, smiling, looking at glass of water on kid’s palm.)

The first plumbing, ancient island of Crete – they used baked clay and straw pipes.
The first sewers – Ancient Rome.
The first water pistol, USA, 1890s.
(Ancient Crete worker, making plumbing. Ancient Roman making sewer. Dad and kid shooting each other with water pumps.)

Fresh water is so hard to come by.
In many countries people have to walk for hours, just to get enough to survive.
(Suitable image of small girl carrying water in container.)

Or use pumps.
(Families lining up to use the one bore pump.)

Boil it just to drink or cook.
Their water can be unclean.
Drought kills entire crops.
People starve.
(Outback farmer, standing over dead cow at dry dam.)

You are so lucky to simply have this! This GIFT!
Of water…
(Dad holding up glass, kid, and people of all nationalities looking up at it.)

…that’s more than 4.6 billion years old!
(Kid drinking water, sputtering. Dad, nonchalantly talking.)


The End.
(Kid waiting while Dad, embarrassed, is peeing on a tree.)

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