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Does Dowsing Work?


To many, the practice of dowsing might sound like hocus-pocus. In fact, one of the nicknames for dowsing, also known as divining, is “water witching”. But what exactly is it?

Dowsing is based on an ancient practice of holding twigs or metals rods that (are supposed to) move in response to hidden or concealed objects, like hidden metal, buried treasure, metals, oils and groundwater. In today’s highly technical and technological world, however, dowsing might seem like an archaic practice that has about as much legitimacy as the Easter Bunny. Indeed, one website notes that dowsing “should be considered a type of divination and an example of magical thinking” because it is not based on known scientific laws, and lacks empirical evidence. Yet some farmers still rely on dowsers for advice on how to irrigate their land. Can dowsing actually find water? Does dowsing work, or is it all just magic and superstition?

The Science Behind the Magic

According to an article in The New Scientist, dowsing has never been proven to work – that is, scientifically. Despite many anecdotal reports and eyewitness testimonies claiming dowsing’s success, dowsing has failed to pass controlled scientific tests. In fact, no scientific experiment has ever shown dowsing to work. However, as The New Scientist points out, “that’s not to say the dowsing rods don’t move. They do.” But how can that be? How can dowsing work and not work at the same time?


Anyone who has ever played a Ouija board knows that the board moves by itself, a phenomenon that people still attribute to the existence of spirits, demons and ghosts. However, the scientific explanation for what happens when people play Ouija is the same one that applies for dowsing. Science refers to the movement of these inanimate objects as ideomotor movements, which are muscle movements caused by individual or collective subconscious mental activity. In other words, playing the Ouija board wouldn’t be fun or interesting if the board didn’t move on its own; the desire to believe that the Ouija board is moving on its own thus produces movement that looks and feels involuntary. In the same way, dowsing or divining rods move to find the presence of water. Does dowsing work? Not according to scientists.

Time Won’t Tell

Science cannot account, however, for many of the world’s mysteries and strange happenings. Indeed, while attributing the movements of a dowsing stick to “ideomotor movements” seems plausible, it doesn’t explain why people continue to practice the art of dowsing, even after it’s been debunked. Some people swear by it, while others laugh it off as a joke. Time won’t tell.

What Really Works

When you need to find water, don’t rely on outdated “magical” thinking and practices that science has long since debunked. Rely on real science and real results. At American Water Surveyors we find water by using the GF3500 seismoelectric survey instrument. Drilling water wells are expensive and you pay by the foot whether or not the driller produces nothing but a dry well. No wonder people relied on dowsing! It gave them hope! Times have changed. When you need to know where the water is, contact us.

July 22, 2015 at 5:31 pm Comments (0)

The Deepest Water Sources

Humankinds’ desire to understand and curiosity for the unknown is boundless. We have explored space, the deep waters and caverns of our world, the vastness of our histories and the intricacies of our inner psyche. We are only limited by the technology around us and the limitations we place upon ourselves. Industries have arisen around the exploration of our world and the same can be said for the exploration of the deepest water sources in the world. Most have become a place for the adrenaline junkies, for those seeking an exhilarating dive, for those seeking to explore the less known. Whether they are man-made mines or natural sinkholes, these massive water sources have intrigued many. Let us take a look at a couple of such places in our world.

Dean’s Blue Hole

Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest sinkhole with an entrance below the water. It is more than 650 feet deep. This hole was located near Clarence Town on the Bahamas’ Long Island – the whole is only visible above the water due to the deep blue color of its water in contrast with the rest of the blue. It is a splendid site.

Kimberley Mine (The Big Hole), South Africa

Even deeper than the Blue Hole, stands the Big Hole with a depth of more than 700 feet and a width of 1,519 feet. Interesting enough, the Big Hole started as a hill but due to human impact it evolved – more than 6,000 pounds of diamonds were unearthed from this site, and at one point, up to 50,000 miners had their picks in the Earth. This once-massive diamond mine remains the largest hand-dug excavation in the world to date and is now filled with water.

Berkeley Pit, Butte, Montana

Another manmade creation, the Berkeley Pit is a former copper mine that now stretches more than 1,700 feet deep. This pit was created as a mine – after the mine closed and pumps were shut off in 1982, the pit began to fill with water that leeches heavy metals and chemicals, like arsenic and sulfuric acid, from surrounding rocks. While entrance into the water is not allowed due to the highly acidic quality of the water, it is a grand place for viewing.

Crveno Jezero (Red Lake), Imotski, Croatia

The third largest sinkhole in the world can be found in Croatia. It has been given the name of Red Lake due to its color that comes from the soil around the cliffs of the lake that contain iron oxides, giving it the burnt hue.

Exploring the depths of our Earth has certainly become the realm of the adventurer, the explorer, the dare devil, and while these pits seem endless with their supply of water, the reality when it comes to clean drinking water is not always as abundant. For those seeking guidance to find these water sources, the need for technology to guide us in finding adequate water sources will continue to rise. The need for organizations that one can trust to guide our searches will increase. At the American Water Surveyors, we are that organization; we are active members of the Better Business Bureau and are dedicated to being the premier service provider in the water finding industry. Our technicians use state of the art technology to provide necessary professional and accurate information to our clients. Based in Fort Worth, Texas our services are highly portable which allows us to conduct groundwater surveys where we’re needed. To find water so your well drillers know where to drill, call us at 877-SEISMO1 (734-7661); 817-788-5716; or e-mail info@wefindwater.com


July 11, 2015 at 5:24 am Comments (0)