How to Make Water Climb a Tree

American poet Joyce Kilmer famously penned the words, "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree." While Kilmer marveled at the external wonders of trees — and God adorned them with plenty — some real "poetry in motion" happens on the inside. That's where our Creator made a way for water to defy gravity, flowing upward to nourish leaves hundreds of feet above the ground. Most of the time we experience the downward force of water. Rain pours from clouds, waterfalls gush over rocky cliffs into pools below, and spilled drinks splatter off the table and soak the carpet. Put simply: water flows downward. But when you take a paper towel to that water you spilled, suddenly you've flipped things around — and the water goes up.

While we take for granted that towels can absorb our messes, why does this happen? Yes, the water moves from the floor up into the cotton or paper fibers. But it's not mainly because of properties in the fibers themselves — despite what paper towel commercials say. Rather, water is sticky.

The bent V-shape of water molecules (H2O) gives them something of a split personality. One end has a positive charge, and the other end a negative. In the same way that the negative side of one magnet attracts the positive side of another magnet, two water molecules cling together through hydrogen bonding. This clinginess gives water some unique characteristics that work together to draw water into the leaves of trees.

[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]