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California Drought Attracts Dowsers

FILE - Marc Mondavi demonstrates dowsing to locate water at the Charles Krug winery in St. Helena, California.

Prolonged drought in California is prompting many desperate farmers look for help from a pseudoscience called dowsing.

Even though it could not be scientifically proved, some people claim they can find underground water, metal ores and even graves, by scanning the ground holding a Y or L-shaped twig or rod, or even a pendulum.

It is believed that divining for water originates from a 15th century practice of looking for rare metals.

This summer almost all parts of California are stricken with severe shortages of water. Individual wells have gone dry so farmers are drilling new ones and many of them seek advice from a dowser before they start digging.

Federal research agency U.S Geological Survey says the occasional successful dowsing is due to the fact that many places have underground water.

The agency says there are thousands of dowsers in the U.S. and for many of them, divining for water is a full-time profession.

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