At first glance, the image above might not make much sense. What could this ordinary-looking tree branch possibly be used for? We were just as baffled as you when we first stumbled upon it. But after some investigation, we discovered its fascinating purpose: it is a tool used for a practice known as “Water Dowsing.”
Water Dowsing, also referred to as “divining,” “doodlebugging,” “well witching,” or “water-finding,” has been around since the 1500s. While it may sound like an old wives’ tale, this technique was commonly used to locate water sources.
To use the dowsing instrument, the person would take hold of the two branches of the Y-shaped stick, with their palms facing upward. The stem of the branch, the base of the Y, would be tilted 45 degrees towards the ground. With the tool in place, the person would move back and forth, hoping to observe the bottom of the Y spin towards the ground. According to urban legend, these vibrations at the bottom of the Y indicated the presence of water below the surface.
Now, you might be wondering how this practice came about. In the 1500s, dowsing with metal rods was initially used to discover metals beneath the ground. Over time, residents in rural areas started using this method to find water sources on their properties. The idea was to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of drilling for water in the wrong spot.
While modern technology has dispelled the popular belief in water dowsing, showing that the Earth’s surface is predominantly covered in water, some water drilling companies still occasionally use this method as an additional precaution before drilling.
So, congratulations if you were able to correctly guess the purpose of the tool! If you’d like to challenge your friends and test their knowledge, feel free to share this fascinating information with them.