Beginning on page 13 of A Presocratics Reader, quotes from Plato and Aristotle tell stories about Thales that show how even in ancient times, philosophers had a mixed reputation for practicality.

Aristotle and Plato tell stories about Thales talking around astronomy (the sun, moon, eclipses) and water resting underneath the earth.  Aristotle tells how some people, including Thales, believe the earth rests on water.  Thales probably gained this idea from seeing that all things are moist.  He also declares that the earth rests because it floats like wood.  All existing things are composed of water, even the hot itself comes to be from water.

I was interested in the reading because water is something unusual and different for philosophers to ponder about.  Along with being an easier read, I enjoyed reading the fragments and I appreciated how even philosophers from so long ago still understood the importance of water on earth.