How Water Keeps Us Alive

Biologically speaking, we’re just walking water sacs, held together by tape
4 min readMar 7, 2021

Why do people say drink more water? By all means hydrate, but have you questioned why you’re always putting this chemical in your gut? It’s really about much more than your skin or general health. It’s about the nature of life itself. Human life — life as we know it, in fact— is largely sacs of water that clambered out of the ocean and are walking the Earth. That’s basically it.

We are a cocktail of many things, but water is the mixer. It is the universal solvent. Without it we could not solve the problem of life.

What Is Life?

There are many definitions of life, all somewhat meaningless because we’re so biased. As Carl Sagan said,

Lawrence Henderson concludes that life necessarily must be based on carbon and water, and have its higher forms metabolising free oxygen. I personally find this conclusion suspect, if only because Lawrence Henderson was made of carbon and water and metabolised free oxygen. Hendersen has a vested interest. (Carl Sagan, 1973)

For our purposes I’ll go with a water based idea of life, but you could possibly make the cocktail out of liquid methane, or a gas, or even a lumbering solid. I’m not saying that this is life…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at