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The ability of water bugs to stay on top of the water is due to its very high surface tension, which acts like an invisible film that prevents the bug from breaking the surface. Surface tension and other properties of liquids depend on the nature and the strength of attractive forces between molecules. With the Properties of Liquids: Surface Tension and Capillary Action—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity, observe the effect of surface tension in water and then compare the surface tension and capillary action of different liquids.