Superionic Water in the Quran

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The term "superionic water" is mentioned zero times in the Quran [1]. Some Islamic apologists are claiming that the Quran talks about superionic water.

The Miracle Claim

1400 years ago people thought that water is transparent; nobody believed that color of water could turn black. But today we know that this is false. At higher pressure and temperature water and ice turn black.

Scientists discovered a new characteristic of water. At higher pressures the water molecule becomes half liquid and half solid.

Superionic water, also called superionic ice or ice XVIII is a phase of water that exists at extremely high temperatures and pressures. In superionic water, water molecules break apart and the oxygen ions crystallize into an evenly spaced lattice while the hydrogen ions float around freely within the oxygen lattice. The freely mobile hydrogen ions make superionic water almost as conductive as typical metals. Superionic water is distinct from ionic water, which is a hypothetical liquid state characterized by a disordered soup of hydrogen and oxygen ions. While theorized for decades, it was not until the 1990s that the first experimental evidence emerged for superionic water. Initial evidence came from optical measurements of laser-heated water in a diamond anvil cell, and from optical measurements of water shocked by extremely powerful lasers. The first definitive evidence for the crystal structure of the oxygen lattice in superionic water came from x-ray measurements on laser-shocked water which were reported in 2019. If it were present on the surface of the Earth, superionic ice would rapidly decompress. In May 2019, scientists at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics were able to create superionic ice in a laboratory, confirming it to be almost four times as dense as normal ice and black in color. Superionic water is theorized to be present in the mantles of giant planets such as Uranus and Neptune.
Wikipedia, Superionic Water, 2019

Superionic water forms in higher temperatures and pressures, it is black in color and more viscous than our water. However this was portrayed in the Quran 1400 years before it was discovered. The Quran says that in the heat of hell water looks like tar.

[Quran 18:29] And say, "The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills let him believe. And whoever wills let him disbelieve". We have prepared for the unjust a Fire, whose curtains will hem them in. And when they cry for relief, they will be relieved with water like tar, which scalds the faces. What a miserable drink, and what a terrible place.


Muhl in Arabic مُهْلِ means tar. Tar is a black viscous liquid. Today we know why in the heat of hell water looks like tar; this is one of the characteristics of water, at high temperature and pressure water becomes black and viscous.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about superionic water?


The verse

And say, "The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills let him believe. And whoever wills let him disbelieve". We have prepared for the unjust a Fire, whose curtains will hem them in. And when they cry for relief, they will be relieved with water like tar, which scalds the faces. What a miserable drink, and what a terrible place.


Quran 18:29, translated by miracles-of-quran.com apologists

The verse obviously doesn't talk about science. It's about punishment for disbelievers. The verse uses the vague phrase "with water like tar" (بماء كالمهل, bi-maa'in kal-muhli). But nothing in the verse indicates that "water like tar" means specifically superionic water. The verse says nothing about water under high pressure or breaking apart of oxygen and hydrogen. The phrase just uses two words that Muhammad knew and he was able himself to say those two words and he didn't need modern scientific knowledge to say those two words.

Then they somehow try to "deduce" that tar is black and superionic water is also black, so that makes "water like tar" a superionic water. But firstly, just because something is black doesn't mean that it is superionic water and secondly "tar" is not the only possible translation of مهل (muhl), there are many, so we're not even sure what it means:

Pickthall: If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

Muhsin Khan: And if they ask for help (relief, water, etc.) they will be granted water like boiling oil, that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil Murtafaqa (dwelling, resting place, etc.)!

Yusuf Ali: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink!

Sahih International: And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces.


Superionic water

The scientific article that they quoted indicates that the Quran probably doesn't talk about superionic water, because superionic water requires extreme pressure and temperature. It says "If it were present on the surface of the Earth, superionic ice would rapidly decompress." - so it's not possible for human to drink it. Scientists created superionic water in diamond anvil cell, but if they take it out of it and put in in disbeliever's cup, it would decompress and stop being superionic water.

See Also

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References