Dowsing is the action of a person called the dowser using a rod, stick or other device called a dowsing rod, dowsing stick, doodlebug (when used to locate oil) or divining rod to
locate such things as underground water, hidden metal, buried treasure,
oil, lost persons or golf balls, etc. Since dowsing is not based upon
any known scientific or empirical laws or forces of nature, it should
be considered a type of divination.
Map dowsers use a dowsing
device, usually a pendulum, over maps to locate oil, minerals, persons,
water, etc. However, the prototype of a dowser is the field dowser who
walks around an area using a forked stick to locate underground water.
When above water, the rod points downward. (Some dowsers use two rods.
The rods cross when above water.) Various theories have been given as
to what causes the rods to move: electromagnetic or other subtle
geological forces, suggestion from others or from geophysical
observations, ESP and other paranormal explanations, etc.
and other forms of divination have been around for thousands of years.
There are large societies of dowsers in American and Europe and dowsers
practice their art every day in all parts of the world. There have even
been scientists in recent years who have offered proof that dowsing
The testimonials of dowsers and those who observe them
provide the main evidence for dowsing. The evidence is simple: dowsers
find what they are dowsing for and they do this many times. Scientific
thinking includes being constantly vigilant against self-deception and
being careful not to rely upon insight or intuition in place of
rigorous and precise empirical testing of theoretical and causal
Controlled study of dowsers, has shown that dowsers that dowser believe in what they do - but much of it is by chance.
is a searching tool that has been used for thousands of years by those
who have tried, with the help of a Y shaped rod, to locate underground
water, ore bodies, oil and other important resources. Dowsing is
subjective by nature. Its success depends on the qualities developed by
the dowsers themselves, who sense, via a mind-body link, the presence
of underground structures.
Scientists have tried to understand
the physical basis of dowsing; what factors link the movement of the
rod in the dowser's hand to underground structures. No one has yet
successfully explained the dowsing signal and for now it remains by
chance - or another psychic tool.