Fountains provide natural humidity, peaceful sounds, AND they feed atavistic existential yearnings - who knew?
Every known form of life depends on water. The earth's oceans teem with life forms of astonishing diversity. Anywhere from 55% to 75% of the human body is composed of water, depending on one's age and gender. It's only natural that we would find something innately appealing about the presence of water, be it in our bodies or in our backyards.
This visceral connection that humans have to water is probably the most important yet least recognized benefit of water fountains. Like pets or plants or late-night reruns of the original Star Trek, indoor and outdoor water fountains connect us to the parts of ourselves that we value most. They remind us of who we are.
Novelist Marcel Proust famously wrote of how memory lies hidden in physical objects. Though Proust was speaking of individuals, it may be true that some objects connect us to a longer past than we ourselves possess. In their hearkening back to nature, the cascades of waterfall fountains feed the oft-neglected yearning that we have for the smells, sights, and sounds of the world that existed before us.
These are abstractions, of course, but they have a practical benefit: stress relief. The tranquilizing sound of water is a primary reason why physicians, dentists, and other health professionals place floor water fountains and wall water fountains in their waiting rooms and offices. For at-home stress relief, a tabletop water fountain in the den or a pair of barrel water fountains next to your garden or porch swing would create a quiet atmosphere conducive to relaxation and reflection.
A few of the many other benefits that fountains provide: