Enlarge / A woman—but probably not a British water professional—uses a divining rod. (credit: VeloBusDriver)
Ten out of 12 water utilities in the United Kingdom admitted that their technicians use divining rods to find underground leaks or water pipes, according to an investigation by science blogger Sally Le Page.
Dowsing is a centuries-old technique for locating underground water.
Someone searching for water holds two parallel sticks—or sometimes a single Y-shaped stick—called divining rods while walking in an area where there might be water under the surface.

The branches supposedly twitch when they’re over a water source.
Needless to say, there’s zero scientific evidence that this technique actually works better than random chance.

But Le Page got a bunch of UK water companies to admit that their technicians still employ the superstitious practice.
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