How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 505

Are divining rods and their abilities to locate ground water fact or myth?
I'm afraid that I think they're myth. Despite extensive searches, physicists have found only four forces in nature: gravity, the electromagnetic force, the strong force, and the weak force. Of these, only gravity and the electromagnetic force are noticeable outside of atoms. Since ground water has no electric charge, it can't affect a divining rod through the electromagnetic force. That leaves only gravity as a possibility and the gravity between modest sized objects such as a stick and a pool of water is so incredibly weak that I can't imagine anyone detecting it with their hands. Having eliminated all the possible external forces that would bend a stick downward when it's near water, it's clear that this bending is done by the hands of the person holding it. Perhaps a good dowser can see features in the environment that prompts the dowser, consciously or unconsciously, to believe that water is nearby. In short, I think that there are people who are good at identifying signs that indicate ground water is present and who can find that water. The divining rod itself is unimportant.

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