Sulfuric acid hydrate has been proposed as an important species on Europa's surface, the acid being produced by radiolysis of surficial sulfur compounds. We investigated the spectral properties of disordered and crystalline forms of sulfuric acid and suggest that the hydration properties of Europa's hypothesized sulfuric acid lie between two end members: liquid sulfuric acid and its higher crystalline hydrates. The spectra of these end members are similar except for spectral shifts at the band edges. We measured the optical constants of sulfuric acid octahydrate and used these with simple radiative transfer calculations to fit Europa spectra obtained by Galileo's Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). The global distribution of the hydrate that we associate here with hydrated sulfuric acid shows a strong trailing-side enhancement with a maximum fractional hydrate abundance of 90% by volume, corresponding to a sulfur atom to water molecule ratio of 10%. The hydrate concentration spatially correlates with the ultraviolet and visible absorption of the surface and with the sulfur dioxide concentration. The asymmetric global distribution is consistent with Iogenic plasma ion implantation as the source of the sulfur, possibly modified by electron irradiation and sputtering effects. The variegated distribution also correlates with geologic forms. A high spatial resolution image shows resolved lineae with less hydrate appearing within the lineae than in nearby crustal material. The low concentration of hydrated material in these lineae argues against their conveying sulfurous material to the surface from the putative ocean.