Several UK Water Companies Openly Admit to Using Pseudoscientific Tools

Last year, we learned that Iraqi security forces had wasted approximately $60 million by purchasing expensive “divining rods” that were supposed to detect bombs. These objects worked like an Ouija board — users thought they were getting “signs” when the reality was that nothing was happening.

It turns out something similar is going on in the UK, where nearly a dozen companies have admitted to using divining (or dowsing) rods to detect leaks or figure out where to dig for water. While there are variations on how these rods work, the version we’re talking about here involves holding two sticks out in front of you, parallel to each other. You walk around the area, and if the rods “detect” water, they’ll pull themselves toward each other and cross. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is.


Also ridiculous? The water companies admitted using divining rods to science writer and YouTuber Sally Le Page.

Overall, Le Page says, 10 of the 12 companies she contacted use or allow divination as a way to detect… something. Even though there is literally zero evidence that they work. It’s a waste of time, money, and resources.

Imagine contacting local doctors about a persistent pain in your abdomen and one of them tells you to rub a heavily scented oil on your body. Not only would that be bad advice; you’d want to warn people to stay away from this doctor who doesn’t understand the first thing about science.

While these companies use actual, scientific methods to detect water and leaks, the fact that they include divining rods in their toolkit — or at the very least, don’t explicitly reject them — should be embarrassing for all of them.

What’s next? Advertising their reliance on witchcraft?

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to everyone for the link)

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