Did you know that humans can’t feel wetness because we actually have no sensors that detect things that are wet? Yep, it’s all trickery!
While insects can feel wetness – which is great for them because being able to sense humidity helps those canny creatures more easily adapt to their environment, providing them with a better chance for survival; we humans are not quite as “evolved.”
Human skin does not have detectors to sense wetness. Our skin contains nerve endings which can sense different things such as pain, pressure and temperature, but oddly not wetness. For humans, sensing wetness is actually more of a perception. We have learned to recognize certain stimuli based on our prior experiences with wetness.
For instance, when we sit on a damp chair, we feel our wet clothing because it sticks to our skin; we sense that our feet are wet because they have become cold in our wet socks after we walk through a puddle; and we realize we are sweating – not because we feel the dampness on our skin, but because we sense its gentle pressure.
One more fun fact: our hairy skin has more temperature sensitive nerve endings so we can, for example, more readily “sense” wetness on our arms than water running through our fingertips.
So, when you jump in that pool, that refreshment you feel is based on the temperature of your pool water and the pressure of that water against your skin, not the actual water itself; but who cares, right? It feels really good!