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To float or not to float...

From:  "Amber"

If water can't float then why does it stay above the ground? i mean if it didn't float then the ground would float which would contradict gravity! Which indeed would mean that the water floats!

TB faithfully wrote this: 

The definition of "float" is to remain suspended within or on the surface of a fluid without sinking. The ground can act as a container holding the water until it either evaporates away or slowly drains away as the ground absorbs the water.

Todd shared this: 

Water does not float. Ground water is in the ground because it doesn't float. Lakes and oceans have water but no land floating because the land is attached deep down. Even islands are attached to the ocean bottom.

Michelle:  To Float is simple to be less dense than the object below you. Water is less dense than dirt, so the dirt sinks (most of the time). A balloon is less dense than water. Helium is less dense than air, so it floats above our air. If there is a hole in the ground/dirt, then that portion is less dense and the water flows into it.

David K reported this: 

Actually, water does "float". To start with, you just have to consider the way the earth is made. The inner part is the "core" which is very dense, and then the middle part, known as the "mantle" which is less dense than the core, and then at the top is the "crust" which is less dense than the "mantle". Now the "crust" is not a uniformly flat surface, so water can collect in the "valleys" in the crust. Note that water is less dense than the materials that make up the crust, so the water will always sit on top of the earth's crust and therefore, there will always be a "bottom" to every body of water. So you can say that the water "floats" on the Earth's crust.

maba27 observed this: 

floating is having a lower density then the substance you're floating in (either a liquid or a gas) so water can float, on something with higher density and something that does not mix/react/bind? with water (otherwise u ll get chemical reactions and such, and an entirely new thing, instead of water and something else)
to my opinion water does not float on ground, it just takes some time to pour into the ground, or the ground might be too dense, not letting water through, but that is not really floating, as ground is no liquid or gas

pavolka helped out with this: 

Water cannot be both the floater and the floatee. Scientists have said the only exception is when they do it at a speed faster than light. Unfortunately it then evaporates.

Keith responded with this: 

If you have a fluid or gas, the lighter substance will rise to the top. In the case of water on the ground, the ground is heavier than the water so water "floats" on top of the ground (and it doesn't hurt that the ground is neither a fluid nor a gas).

i know all pointed this out: 

the ocean floor is so hard that the water is kept above the crust and even if water could get below the crust it would turn into water vapor so quick that we would not know it

elah mumbled this: 

water can float, in or on something that is denser then it, so that is why water "floats" on the ground just as helium "floats" on air

C.H.U.D. rattled off this: 

Your entire question hinges on the assumption that water can't float.
Water can indeed float in a denser substance.

Sp00k appeared out of know where and sent us this: 

Water does not float. There are many underground water sources; you're probably above one now. All matter is affected by gravity...what determines where it ends up in the various layer of the "cake" is usually desnity and luck. Water could sit on rubber forever (assuming evaporation doesn't take place) because the rubber is too dense for the water molecules to pass through. However, if the water were "lucky" water...there just might be a hole big enough...or as we usually know it: a drain. Evaporation only takes place because of density. As the water heats, the molecules and the bonds between them become less stable, until eventually, they become as dense or less dense than the air around them. Think of floating as you think of cold. There is no such thing as cold, just less heat energy than the comparative material...and likewise, there is no floating, just less gravitational subjectivity than the surrounding, denser materials.

Mr. Obvious concluded with this: 

Ground does float. The crust of Earth floats on its mantle. Water will or will not float - it's entirely dependent on what you consider "floating". Water is less dense than oil, so water will "float" on oil.

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