“Water dowsing” is a folk science.
The process involves using forked sticks or metal rods to find wells of water in the ground. It is assumed that this fake science “works” due to the sticks or rods being pulled to various location’s magnetic fields, particle shifts, etc.: it’s all ridiculous (and unsurprising that it’s listed on the Department Of Interior’s Water Science School).
The funny thing about this “science” is that it looks ridiculous. Yes, it is ridiculous made up science bullshit that is reinforced by the people who hock it’s praise, a group of mainly older white people so lubed up in snake oil that they might slip into your realm of believability. Just watch!
This is Jack Coel, the leading dowser in America. He has been the subject to many local news stories after being seemingly validated after finding a giant well in Las Vegas via dowsing. Coel’s process is walking around with rods in his hands like some sort of entrapped human from They Live undergoing possession by an alien.
Not convinced? Let Marty Cain of the American Society Of Dowsers convince you otherwise via the highly reputable MonkeySee.com. Cain reveals the truth of dowsing which involves asking these rods wherever you are to reveal where water is. If that doesn’t work, a pendulum and your arm will do. Clearly this form of science is the naturalist’s answer to a Ouija board.
Still not convinced? Let’s take a break from the old white people and hear from a young white person. This is a guy in Oakhurst, California who swears his family has been gifted with “well witching,” another term for dowsing. He uses a more classic method that involves holding a forked stick with your arms upside down, which will lead you to water. “This sounds completely insane,” he tells you. “I don’t really believe it myself.” Yet, here we are, watching this man amble around in a Fall environment, sucked to a patch of leaves, holding this stick with his life just to show how powerful the dowse is. Incredible.
This is John Baker. His dowsing techniques are the most dramatic: his rods are noisy, his displays of proof are ridiculous, and he tries everything to show that he has found water pipes in his own backyard.
Perhaps the most beautifully set, this dowsing video is very talky and uneventful. This will probably not convince you that dowsing is real but it might convince you that holding metal rods makes you look like a crazy person.
Had enough of this crazy in Trump’s America? Me too. Let’s leave it to Canadian magician and skeptic James Randi to publicly destroy a dowser by illustrating that all this business is a game of silly, silly chance. (But still: they’re kind of funny to watch.)