• Water has a "vapor pressure" which represents the amount of water molecules which have turned into gas. This vapor pressure depends on temperature... if you have a glass at room temperature, it evaporates slowly. As the temperature rises, the vapor pressure increases, the molecules turn to gas at a faster rate. Boiling is just the point at which you cannot increase the temperature of the water any further: it refuses to stay in a liquid state above (approx) 100 degrees C. At that point the vapor pressure goes to max, and the only state water will tolerate is being a gas. So it does -- and that transition happens rapidly, bubbles of gas form on the bottom of the pan and rise quickly to the surface. If you could somehow brute-force the temperature up just one degree, it would all flash-boil instantaneously and you'd have an empty pan.

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