divining rods

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Scope note
Devices comprising sticks or rods; used by people working above ground in an attempt to discover water, minerals, treasure, archaeological remains, graves, or other things below ground. Use of rods for these purposes has ancient origins; devices similar to those used today are first documented in 16th-century Europe. Traditionally Y-shaped twigs, often of hazel, rown, or willow which, when their two prongs are grasped, twist and dip in the hands of the dowser as he or she approaches the substances or objects sought for. Alternatively, the rods consist of two metal rods held parallel a few inches apart, that swing across each other when nearing the sought-after substance or objects. In controlled studies, the success rate of finding anything below ground by using these devices is no better than chance.
divining rods
Accepted term: 20-May-2024