# Why does cold tap water feel warm when your hands have been colder for a while?

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Why does cold tap water feel warm when your hands have been colder for a while?

In: Biology

Take energy (heat) to be Food

when you are hot (aww) the water has less heat than you and wants to take some of your food(energy/heat)

But when you are colder than it, you can steal some of *ITS* Food

The water may be cold, but your skin is colder.

Cold is just a lack of heat energy. And energy will naturally flow from high to low. So heat from the water will go into your skin because your skin has lower heat energy. That energy moving into your skin feels like warmth.

* Humans can’t sense temperature directly.
* We can sense a difference in temperature.
* So while the temperature of the tap water doesn’t change very much, it will feel hot if your hands are cold, and feel cold if your hands are hot.
* There is a super simple experiment you can try to prove this.
* Get three bowls.
* In the first bowl put warm water.
* In the second bowl put room temp water.
* In the third bowl put cool water.
* Stick one hand in the warm water and the other hand in the cool water and hold them there for a few min.
* Now put *both hands* in the room temp water.
* One hand will feel warm and one will feel cool even though they are both in the same bowl of water.

Everything is relative, why does getting a rock dropped on you hurt less after you have been smashed with a sledge hammer. Same principle!

Heat receptive nerves in the body only record a change in temperature. As the skin temperature of your hands reaches equilibrium with the temperature of the water, there is no difference and thus no feeling off coldness. The ‘warm’ feeling is just you finally feeling the absence of the cold feeling and it just feels warm relatively.

What we feel as warm/cool isn’t actual temperature, it’s the exchange of heat. Since your hands are colder than the water, your hands are absorbing heat from the water rather than the water absorbing heat from your hands. So the water feels “warm”.