Can some animals or people sense water?

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Offline thedoc

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Can some animals or people sense water?
« on: 29/04/2012 11:20:01 »
Nestus Neethling  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris,

I am forever getting involved in arguments wrt the likelihood of the some " people/ individuals " being able to "show water" , especially in the arid regions of the country.  
Is there any concrete scientific evidence that this is  possible?
Will be very glad to get your opinion on this.
Nestus Neethling

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 29/04/2012 11:20:01 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can some animals or people sense water?
« Reply #1 on: 01/05/2012 22:35:30 »
There have been a lot of arguments about water witching (dowsing), with studies generally indicating negative results.

At least for drilling wells, there is a lot of subsurface water, so if one did water witching, and then chose to drill a second well 50 feet away, it is likely that both wells would be productive.  Perhaps one could select geological formations and locations that would likely help minimize the depth of drilling.

As far as animals, Elephants can remember locations where they have previously found near surface water.  One of the concerns with poaching is that some of this knowledge could get lost for posterity.  So, if a herd of elephants is reintroduced to a location where a previous herd has been killed off, it may not do as well.

It is often possible to dig for near-surface water in swamps.  This would be less with divining water, and more with just knowing where to dig.