The Human Love of Water

Sandbanks, Ontario, Canada
The mystery of how we came to be is still unsolved. Yet, the "new" aquatic hypotheses have some insight to offer with regards to the morphological differences which set us far apart from all our closest relatives. They do so in a simple way, and address many "problem characteristics" not well dealt with in other theories: our bipedalism, big brains, fat, decrease in hair, our diving reflex. It also addresses our innate love of water, and serves to explore this further. That said:

Let's face it - we do swim, and most of us enjoy the water and beachside, even if swimming isn't our "thing". If this were not the case would the travel agencies be booming during winter in Canada, sending people off to the warm, wet, tropical places ? Would waterfront property be so exclusive? Would water sports be in the Olympics?

Not only do we swim, but we also boat, waterski, "jetski", surf the waves and the winds, we dive both by breath holding and using SCUBA gear or snorkeling !

We play in the water, drink the water, and continue to find food, in the water. Our affinity may have diminished over time, but our love of water remains. More than any other ape we are drawn to the sea, in so many ways. It captures our awe and our curiousity - scientifically, spiritually and intellectually. It is the source of legends, myths and dreams. It has always been a big part of us.

Given our differences to other apes, it is odd that the role of water is only now being seriously explored in a scientific manner. Evidence is already mounting in favour of a more mixed "mosaic" environment. Clues in the fossil record are pointing more and more towards a wetter paleoenvironment in those areas most rich in our ancestor's remains.

Water, in all its facets, should be included in this new mosaic. For without it we would be nowhere - fast.

It's time to ask those serious scientific questions about where this love of water came from, how long we have had it, and how it has manifested itself in us. Then, maybe, we can gain some more insight into our complex evolutionary history.

Sandbanks Provincial Park
Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
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