Here’s a fun post at Astral Codex Ten. The post also has a great name: The Unbearable Semiheaviness Of Being
I’m going to excerpt just enough to show why, aside from the wonderful title, I enjoyed this post:
If heavy water makes you feel worse and eventually kills you, naturally light water should make you feel better and eventually make you immortal. That’s how logic works, right?
Maybe! This is actually a real alternative medicine thing. You can buy light water for about $20/liter….
I love this theory. It’s so much better than homeopathy. If you tell the homeopaths that their products are just ordinary water, they’ll get pissy. If you tell these people, they’ll admit right away that it’s even more water than regular water is, the only water which you can be really confident is perfectly normal H2O. I love this theory so much. …
This probably doesn’t have enough medical benefits to have been worth my time to research or yours to read. I still find it fascinating. I keep being amazed at how many dimensions things can vary along. You think you know what kind of things medicine has to investigate – how different chemicals interact, the effects of food and smoking and sleep and so on – and unless some weird Hungarians remind you, you would never in a million years remember that there are multiple different isotopes of water and this seems to have some effect on living cells. You would never think to check whether attempts to mine the Martian icecaps for drinkable water will result in dangerous water that could sicken the unfortunate astronauts who drink it (answer: it might! Martian water has five times more deuterium than Earthly water and seems to kill shrimp). You would never think that you could buy something called “deuterium depleted water” on Amazon, or that it would be completely safe to drink. But here we are!
I’m so glad someone finally pointed me to Astral Codex Ten. I really missed Scott Alexander’s posts when he was temporarily missing from the internet! By all means click through if you want to read a lot more about heavy and light water.