Why Waterbenders don’t pull water out of air more often like Hama did? It’s an useful skill to have

  1. This feels like a fringe technique that's developed out of necessity and survival. I'm sure survivors of shipwrecks in the ocean, castaways, and other extreme condition survivors that would kill an average person all developed survival techniques that the average person wouldn't even think about in a safe setting.

  2. Pretty sure your third point isn’t just headcanon…cold air just can’t contain as much moisture. So pulling water out of the air in arctic temperatures is going to be a lot of work for significantly less liquid than Hama was able to bend in a temperate climate.

  3. On the last point, the Boiling Rock Prison episodes would be interesting if they accidentally locked up a water bender there.

  4. It's probably just a matter of intrinsic understanding. Much like Zuko had to learn about fire's true nature to achieve his true potential.

  5. Naa the dryness probably isn't just because of the atmosphere having water, it's also to stop sweating.

  6. I would imagine extracting water from any air would be quite arduous as there really isn't that much unless in the most humid of climates. Like even accounting for how bending is magic, it's super impressive.

  7. It's probably a rare technique and most likely requires that you be in a somewhat humid environment. So it's not going to work when you're wandering around the desert of the earth Kingdom.

  8. Exactly. In a pretty close to best case scenario, on a warm day (25 degrees C/77 degrees F) at 100% relative humidity, there is only 22g (0.77 oz) of water in every cubic meter of air.

  9. And more to the point: it’s not going to work at the north or South Pole, so there probably hasn’t been a lot of research into it by waterbending masters

  10. By the time ATLA takes place, most of the Water-Benders are at the poles, so most of the air there is dry and cold. Even if they are in a humid environment like the Swampfolk, there is so much water around that they don't need to. Hama's bending was learned via a necessity, so it makes sense that she would innovate those techniques.

  11. Other than the Fire Nation, the only place that I would think would stay humid for most of the year would be the great swamp...and finding water there isn't exactly a problem

  12. But a water bender in the desert of Earth kingdom isnt gonna be useful anyways. Except blood benders, they are always the exception

  13. Hijacking top comment to add the fact that there is not a lot of water in the air. A quick google found “at normal pressure and 70°F temperature, one cubic foot of air can hold 0.000789 lb of water vapor” 0.358 liters. This is also 100% humidity. But That would still help if youre in prison i suppose

  14. Like most if the other other forms of specialized bending I think it requires an understanding that most people don't have. Take for instance the example given, a lot of people don't understand that the chemical components of water are in air itself, so maybe to access such specialized techniques you would have to have that specialized understanding. It seemed like the greater the understanding of the element the greater benders were. Toph too, she realized metal is just a purified form of earth and that's how she learned metal bending.

  15. I feel like the Avatar universe doesn't work with the same rules in this case. Hama pulls a decent amount of water out of thin air in the scene.

  16. on TOP of this. water vapor is common knowledge today in the 21st century. BUT I'm not sure that a regular run of the mill person back then would even know what it is. Hama, at her level, could probably detect it

  17. Yeah and she specifically talks about how waterbenders have to be creative when they are in strange, unfamiliar lands. Which makes sense, because on the poles there is water everywhere, so no need to be creative

  18. Yes, they don't think about it because it goes against the core of waterbending. Waterbending is about controlling the flow of energy around you- redirecting your opponents energy against them. It's not about creating energy by throwing a punch. It's based on Tai Chi.

  19. My thoughts are that she got inspired by Firebending. Firebenders have the upper hand by seemingly making their element out of thin air. So Hama adapted and stumbled on this trick

  20. Makes you also wonder, why even bloodbend? Why not take all the water out of the people, suck em dry like a mummy. Leave the blood.

  21. you guys know how you can get rocks with water inside them? do you guys think waterbenders would be able to move them and pretend to be an earthbender? i think it would work very well in a story for a waterbender to try and throw off a trail or something by "earthbending" rocks or would be a great way to ambush someone since they wouldn't expect a waterbender to be able to move rocks.

  22. I'm assuming it's a very skilled technique that only certain people can do. We also see katara help aang move clouds in the air on the fortune teller episode so it's definitely not a one-off

  23. I dont think it even stops with that. Think about the most humid places. Rainforests, seaside...the sauna. They almost always have a better source of water than the air.

  24. I also doubt it'd work in the Northern or Southern water tribes, since it'd be cold and not very humid. So it'd be an incredibly hard technique that isn't even possible in the place where most Waterbenders train.

  25. I think of it like Toph in Korra. She could detect the metal in Korra when no other benders could, because she's THAT bitch.

  26. For the same reason that most fire benders would have trouble producing flames in the North and South water tribes, the freezing temperatures and humidity would diminish their heat

  27. Yeah I’d you don’t have anything you have to work with what you have. But if that’s all you have you kinda already messed up

  28. One reason that is purely head canon would be that drawing water from plants is to kill living things. I think that would MAYBE be generally frowned upon by water benders?

  29. I think another factor might be ignorance. Most waterbenders live in an area where plants (to my knowledge) can’t live, so they might not know that’s an option.

  30. Pissbending - is the next step after bloodbending. But I heard rumors, that even male firebenders have advantage in pissbending. If you know what i mean 😏

  31. Adding on to that it’s also prob cause no one cared to try. Considering how little she was able to pull from the air in a humid environment, it doesn’t seem all that useful. Especially since humid environments have plenty of other sources of water somewhere nearby.

  32. Also it seems like Metal just wasn't as common until the Fire Nation started invading and making their machines entirely out of metal. When all the metal you've ever seen has basically been spears/swords and coins you don't really need to concern yourself with figuring out how to bend it.

  33. I think only the fire nation had advanced metal working capabilities. The earth kingdom is made of stone and probably avoid medal bc it isn’t initially bendable. It wasn’t until the war when they were pit against metal traps did toph have to actually try

  34. In the case of metal bending, not everyone can. When Toph is training Aang in ATLA, she stresses that an earth bender needs to have an unwavering will in order to succeed. It's why Aang struggled so much. Metal bending takes this to the next level and it's why Aang was never able to manage it but Korra was. In my head canon, it's also why Bolin couldn't metal bend but he could lava bend (something that I'd really like to see from future Avatar stories is further exploration into blurring the boundaries between the elements and what that translates to in bending).

  35. She made the point in her explanation that waterbenders almost always live in an environment where they're surrounded by water and ice. Either the north and south poles, or a swamp. They never had a reason to learn to condense the humidity that way.

  36. The non-universe real answer is that the writers started adding really strong, story breaking powers towards the end of the series because they knew they wouldn't have to constantly write around them for very long.

  37. Katara does it in the episode of Jet, where she freezes the air around Jet when under a powerful emotion. In fact, it seems like Katara can do things far beyond her knowledge when under powerful emotions. For example, when she's able to remove the water from Aang's lungs. How'd she do that?

  38. Most probably because there’s almost always gonna be an easier source of water to take from. Why waste energy condensing the little water there is in the air when you can just take some from your canteen like katara does

  39. Iirc, it’s a difficult technique, and often only needed when water isn’t readily available, which most waterbenders have water with them to begin with.

  40. There is only one lore correct answer: Air at the north and south poles is so cold that there is no moisture in the air in the places they live, and Hama was living on a tropical island that was oversaturated with moisture.

  41. It’s useful, but doesn’t seem very efficient. I’m guessing it takes a lot of control to turn vapors back into a solid. Not like water to ice (“solid” to solid), but a gas to a solid

  42. I honestly think the sexist attitude of some of the water tribe culture really held waterbenders back. The men probably stuck to the traditional forms and ways to strengthen them without really getting creative because they didnt need to, and women waterbenders were almost always forced to just be healers. Hama came up with more sinister, but more original techniques because she had to; she had no other choice.

  43. I don’t think the water tribe’s sexism played much if a part in this other than halving the populations water benders in terms of fighting

  44. To me this almost seems like asking, “why don’t more basketball players make 3’s like Steph Curry? Seems like a pretty useful skill to have.” Just being a basketball player doesn’t mean you’re as skilled as the top tier players, similarly just being a water-bender doesn’t mean you’re able to identify invisible water droplets in the air and form them together into usable water.

  45. Nice air you got in your longs, would be a shame if someone turned the water inside it into small blades and cut all the bare fragile membranes.

  46. Like other people have said, it probably isn't a technique that a lot of waterbenders have been introduced to. The poles may have a lot of water, but that water isn't in the air, so not only is there no need for this technique, but there is also less opportunity to learn in the places where waterbenders primarily live.

  47. I'm just sad Katara didn't use blood bending on Azula. That made the introduction of that technique pointless as far as ATLA is considered.

  48. The only way water benders can pull water from the air is by turning the water vapor in the air into liquid form, therefore reducing the absolute humidity. While humans can “feel” humidity, we only feel relative humidity, as in what %of the maximum amount of water vapor is currently in the air. However the maximum amount of water vapor is dependent on temperature, with a higher temperature allowing more water. In the north and South Pole the temperatures are much lower, around 0°C all year. At 0°C, even at 100% humidity there is only 5 grams of water vapor per cubic meter of air. However at 30° at 50% humidity there is 40 grams of water per cubic meter. Therefore the method of pulling water vapor into water is only useful in hot and humid climates. The water tribes would have no ability to practice this near the poles, and the swamp benders would have no reason to learn it, as the hot and humid climates generally mean abundant water.

  49. I think Hama was meant as a bad example. All the benders have some honorable idea about living in balance with their element where Hama showed how to misuse it. Extracting enough to damage it.

  50. My headcanon - which builds on all the excellent comments explaining how real world conditions would make it highly unlikely - is that most waterbenders simply aren’t talented enough to do it on a usable level.

  51. The fire nation doesn’t seem very dry, more tropical and humid, but your point stands in relation to the earth nation with the big desert areas. We see and and Katara try to do this with a cloud, but they barely get any water.

  52. Same reason why not every Earthbender bends metal - it's a very advanced technique that only few have mastered or even know about.

  53. Likely because it would remove the only real disadvantage water benders have and make then more overpowered than they already are. Like if any water bender could do that, I would kill a lot of tension in future situations where they have to think faster with limited water to use.

  54. I think it’s cause water benders are strategic enough to keep water close by. Not to mention Hama literally invented blood bending. She’s pretty heckin strong. I’m sure this isn’t a typical ability.

  55. Some of the discussions here do make me wonder about some of the more unique bending applications in different climates. Water Bending works very differently depending on where you are and what ambient water is available. Hama’s skill here is unique to areas with enough humidity, the swamp benders can only make their bending work in areas where the foliage is both flexible and liquid-dense enough, etc. I wonder what other unknown Bending applications might exist in corner-case climates.

  56. Because Hama is a genius who spent decades practicing this exact thing out of a lack of anything else to do. Nobody else has the impetus to learn how to do this specific trick.

  57. Didn’t she pull the water out of the flowers around her, killing them? I don’t remember her pulling water out of thin air.

  58. The same reason everyone doesn't become an electrician/plumber/gardener/EMT/carpenter, despite how useful all of those skills are.

  59. They can barely move water they can see. Detecting it and manipulating something you can't see takes skill.

  60. Why didn't all the firebenders just fly around with foot jetpacks like Ozai that's a useful skill to have

  61. Because they have no need to learn how. Waterbenders of the Northern tribe are constantly surrounded by forms of water (and when there were more waterbenders in the south, same). Hama was removed from where that resource was readily available, so she had to develop that technique.

  62. Most live their whole lives near large bodies of water and refuse to leave those areas. Few ever need to learn how to be resourceful, let alone consider it a possibility.

  63. Hama lived on a mountain next to the ocean with plenty of flora (water) and likely rivers nearby (mountain, ocean) so it was likely humid there. I would imagine it's an advanced technique like lightning bending. (I'm still a little confused how this super rare technique was made commonplace in korra, but I suppose there would be new innovation for it.)

  64. In regards to the lightning bending comment you had three people we saw able to, Zuko developed that skill and 70 years passed. The show kinda is trying to mimic the progress of the post ww2 era. There is a video detailing the similarities between real life and Korea progress.

  65. Hama’s adapted to living in fire nation territory. We see waterbenders living either at the poles or in swamps, where there’s no shortage of water. Hama had to figure out how to get water from unexpected places cause the Fire Nation generally seems hot and arid. Secondly, Hama’s Southern Water Tribe and is teaching Katara Southern techniques. The Water tribes are pretty isolated, and the Water Tribe raids started 60 years before Aang wakes up. Katara doesn’t know much about water bending at the beginning, cause no one was alive to teach her. Makes sense some techniques would get lost when waterbenders are being genocided.

  66. Same reason earth benders don't pull dust out of the air, it's easier to just use what's easily available. If your power is tied closely to bodies of water you tend to hang around water alot more so you don't need to worry about it.

  67. Easier to just carry a bag of water around honestly. I’d say there’s probably, usually, far more easier to access/readily available water to use in a given environment, that renders the need to draw water out of the air basically non existent. The only time it could have been useful may have been when katara and toph were in the wooden cage, rather than working up a sweat. In fact, the only place that probably didn’t have groundwater or plant matter available to bend is the siwong desert, which is probably so damn dry that water couldn’t even be taken out of the air anyway

  68. I'd imagine it's lot like Metalbending, manipulating small droplets in the air as opposed to one larger body of water.

  69. First off, Hama was skilled as fuck. Second, it would be easier to just carry a small leather pouch with you like Kirima did.

  70. Why not pull water out of someone's skull. Blood bending is one thing but if you remember that fight they were Desecating the plants. The next step is doing that to people.

  71. I know I mean i can assume why is associated with the humidity levels of the air but I mean Katara learned this trick and didn't use it ever like that episode and that's it she actually used bloodbending more than this trick and said she hated it

  72. A useful skill in a pinch, for sure, but most waterbenders think to bring their own water source in skins and bottles so that they don't have to waste valuable time in a crisis just to pull enough water out of the air for it to matter.

  73. It’s Probably a high level technique. Plus she only got so much of it. The amount of water she can pull probably depends on how much is In the air. She got more water out of the flowers and plants around her.

  74. I think it depends on the environment. If the area they are in doesn’t really have a lot of water or the water is not a decent amount I honestly doubt they could but if they were in a area with more of humid climate they probably would and could . But also there’s probably not going to be a lot of situations where that skill would come in handy so they probably don’t have a justifiable reason to teach the technique

  75. As some have pointed out, not a lot of water is actually IN the air to be practical enough for regular use. There's also to consider that the vast majority of waterbenders live in frozen tundras. Therefore, they probably just simply don't consider doing it when they take water skins everywhere there isn't snow, ice, or water in abundance.

  76. Same reason more people don't play the violin or do high level physics. It takes a long time to learn and it's hard to do.

  77. That’s like asking why all fire benders don’t just snip people with lightening from half a mile away. It’s difficult and water is readily available for most water benders, no need to develop the skill like Hama had.

  78. You probably need a good amount of humidity. The natural habitat of water benders is the north and south pole which have humidity near 0% so it is difficult for those to even realise that they could. Apart from that, we have the ones living in a swamp, the availability of water is so high that they just did not find themselves in a position to need to think out of the box.

  79. I'd say most waterbenders stick to the poles or the high seas, where earth and firebending are quite weak. So I'd say most of them are quite traditional and stuck in their (lazy) ways.

  80. It's probably a rare skill. And those that can probably can't pull out much water. I always believed that the amount Hama has there is as much as she could pull out at once.

  81. How often would they need to? Two tribes live on ice shelves, and the third lives in a swamp. They generally use the ocean for travel if they go anywhere else, and most people in general live along rivers or other bodies of water.

  82. Remember, most waterbenders (barring the foggy swamp tribe, who don't interact much with the rest of the world) live in the north and south poles. In places that cold, there's actually very little moisture in the air, since it condenses and freezes easily. (IRL, Antarctica is the driest desert on the planet.)

  83. I’d imagine it takes a great amount of skill, effort, concentration, and energy to do that move. So that only the top 1% of water benders could perform it.

  84. It's probably an advanced technique that only a few can do. Plus think about where water benders live. The north and south poles, and a swamp. Even if they were capable they'd neve need to do it because if the natural abundance of water. Also I would love to see a goofy what if series where a water bending Avatar is a swamp bender.

  85. The water tribes live in the Poles, which are deserts. Only a select few would even think about there being water in the air, let alone have the skill to figure out how to extract it

  86. I thought she invented it along with blood bending, could be wrong tho I don’t watch this episode it give me the heebie jeebies

  87. Most water benders live near a source of water that’s readily available (the poles, the swamp) so the question is, why would they?

  88. Because I’d imagine any waterbender with any common sense to them would keep a water skin by them when away from wet environments, and we’ve seen them take on earthbenders and firebenders with limited water so why would they bother?

  89. Only someone as resourceful and skilled as Hama would be able to figure it out let alone master it. But people like Paku or Katara could probably do it, and as someone said on the comments somewhere, it likely needs to be pretty humid where they are, so people in Northern and Southern Tribes probably can’t do it.

  90. My understanding is that it's a Southern Water Tribe technique that was lost due to the genocide of Southern Water Benders.

  91. Probably because it's an extremely difficult technique that you can only use when you have like 600 years of practice like this bitch.

  92. New skills are driven by necessity, as we see in the show itself. 99% of the time, Waterbenders have no shortage of easily available water to bend with. They’ve lived on giant blocks of ice for centuries. Simply put, there wasn’t much need to pull water out of the air and Hama found herself in a position where water wasn’t readily available for an INCREDIBLY long time, driving a need to discover less obvious ways of acquiring and using it.

  93. If you watch the Hama episode, you should know why. Many water benders wouldn't even think about it due to having access to an abundance of water. Waterbenders are the most adaptable to their environment as proven by the swamp vine benders and Hama herself. Katara was also trained to carry a pouch to have access to water bend but she showed the ability to bend sweat, clouds, etc... non traditional things. Lastly waterbenders are not common in a hot tropical/arid regions so they wouldn't have access to that humid environment to bend.

  94. Probably incredibly difficult, requires a lot of energy and determination and most likely waterbenders would pick and choose their battlefields to guarantee they’d be fighting with the water advantage historically. Hama states that she picked up the ability specifically because she was isolated from water for presumably decades. Most benders don’t go through what she did so would never even think to develop the skill. It’s easy for us to assume it would be widespread because we take for granted the knowledge that air is full of water. Pre industrial avatar cultures likely have no such understanding of their environment especially with the prevalence of bending seeming to limit the pursuit of science outside of notable outliers like the fire nation or the mechanist and then of course the developments we see in korra. Swamp benders additionally are the only benders we really see bend the water inside organica other than Hama so why is vine bending or even forest or crop bending not more prevalent? Maybe it was historically but organic bending was outlawed by the spirits because it was harmful unless done under specific and spiritual circumstances like with Hu protecting the Bangrove tree or even aang stopping Yakone. Love this franchise because of these kinds of questions. The universe is virtually limitless in terms of worlds building potential.

  95. Since the water benders lived at the two poles, this technique never would’ve been necessary, since there was water everywhere they probably never even thought to try this. Hama’s character was all about adapting to where she is, as she is a water bender in the fire kingdom. There are many things she had to try to adapt and survive.

  96. Why dont airbenders pull out the air of their enemies? I think the reason is simple, it would be too op and the fights would be too short and uninteresting

  97. Bending is martial arts, and what we see throughout the show is basically martial arts at the highest tier of play. Imagine looking at a black-belt show a fantastic display of prowess and skill, dispatching a bunch of people, and saying 'Well why don't more people fight like that?'

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