Are Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Fantastic Claims Actually Real?

UPDATE February 26, 2014: After years of receiving requests to perform a valid scientific research study to test Emoto’s claims, I am now receiving donations to fund the study. Please click here to learn more.

When I first heard of Dr. Emoto’s amazing work with water crystals through his book “The Hidden Messages in Water” I was absolutely stunned. I then saw the movie “What the Bleep do we Know” and became thoroughly intrigued. I set off to conduct a research project in the chemistry department of Castleton College in Vermont to see if I could find sufficient evidence and support for Dr. Emoto’s claims to merit conducting a deeper research project to try to reproduce his work. The idea was to uncover as much information about his methods and procedures as possible to determine if is would actually be feasible to study the effect of energy healing, such as Reiki, on the formation of water crystals. I was so excited to think that I might be the first person in the world to verify his work!

So what follows is my official research paper that contains all of my findings and determinations after months of exhaustive review of Dr. Emoto’s published works. I hope that it will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for the truth.

Sincerely,
Kristopher Setchfield, BA, Health Science
Natural Science Department
Castleton State College, Vermont


20 December, 2005

Review and analysis of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s
published work on the effects of external stimuli
on the structural formation of ice crystals.

This paper surveys the wealth of information that was uncovered during investigation of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s claim that human thought has a direct observable effect on the structural formation of ice crystals. Upon initial review of Dr. Emoto’s published findings, I became very interested in the implications of his research and developed the initial concept for this research project, which was to review Mr. Emoto’s laboratory methodology to learn if it would be possible to test his hypothesis and reproduce his results at Castleton State College. Since the human body is composed of between 50% and 80% water, I could not help but wonder, “If thought affects the molecular structure of water, then what effect might thought have on the human bodies?”

However, after many hours of investigation it became increasingly clear that a superior purpose for this project was to review Mr. Emoto’s procedures and results for scientific validity. This revision in the original intent for this project has been very eye-opening and the findings have grounded my opinion of Dr. Emoto’s work in a concrete of scientific rigor and skepticism.

Dr. Emoto became a Doctor of Alternative Medicine at the Open International University for Alternative Medicine in India in 1992, and he has become famous throughout the world in the alternative medicine realm for his 1999 self-published book, The messages of water. Since that time, his narrative and collection of photos of ice crystals has been picked up by independent publishing companies and has grown into subsequent works, such as The hidden messages in water (HMW). Recently his work was featured in a highly controversial movie titled What the bleep do we know!? (Bleep) and published in an essay in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM). These thrust his work into the international spotlight and portrayed his work as proven scientific research. It was because of the notoriety gained by his books and the Bleep movie that I first learned of Emoto’s fantastic claim that he has found evidence that human thought affects ice crystal formation and that the structure and level of detail of an ice crystal is an indicator of water quality.

An ice crystal is a crystal lattice of solid water molecules that is often visible to the naked eye and commonly experienced as a snowflake. The crystal exhibits the hexagonal lattice structure that is characteristic of solid water, as illustrated in the picture on the left where two views are shown of the same ice crystal molecule–where the red balls represent the oxygen atoms, and the grey spokes represent the hydrogen atoms.

Fig. 1. Ice crystal lattice scructure (Libbrecht)

Fig. 2. Ice crystal faces

According to Kenneth Lebbrecht, chairman of the department of physics at Caltech and a leading ice crystal researcher, ice crystals form arms on the crystal faces (shown in the picture above on the right). The two hexagonal faces are known as basal faces, and the six rectangular faces are known as prism faces, and the overall shape of a crystal is determined by which faces grow arms. If the basal faces grow, a columnar crystal develops, and if the basal faces grow a plate shape will develop.

Lebbrecht’s morphology diagram below illustrates that ice crystal shape is a factor of both humidity and temperature. Temperature is the most important factor, and plates tend to form in the 0°C to -3°C and -10°C to -22°C ranges (red), while columns tend to form from -3°C to -10°C and below -22°C (green). Lower humidity tends to form simpler crystal shapes, while higher humidity tends to form more intricate crystals. It is currently not known why ice crystals form different shapes at different temperatures, as the physics of how the water molecules bond to a growing ice crystal are very complex and not well understood (Libbrecht).

Fig.3. Morphology Diagram of Ice Crystal Formation (Libbrecht)

Emoto’s hypothesis has evolved over the years of his research. Initially Dr. Emoto claimed that high-quality water forms beautiful and intricate crystals, while low-quality water has difficulty forming crystals. According to Dr. Emoto, an ice crystal of distilled water exhibits a basic hexagonal structure with no intricate branching, as shown in the photo below, taken from Dr. Emoto’s website www.hado.net (Hado). This basic hexagonal crystal is the simplest form of an ice crystal.

Fig. 4. Photo of Distilled Water Crystal (Emoto, Messages)

The following images (Emoto, Messages 119) show Emoto’s selected photos of ice crystal formation from tap water sources from Paris, London, and Tokyo, respectively in figure 5 and two spring water sources from Japan on the right.

Fig.5. Photos of Tap Water Crystals (Emoto, Messages)

Fig. 6. Photos of Spring Water Crystals (Emoto, Messages)

While these first claims of Dr. Emoto may seem to make common sense, his subsequent claims are ever-increasingly more controversial. After studying the variation in water crystals from samples taken from different locations around the world, Emoto decided to study what would happen to the formation of ice crystals from distilled water after the liquid was exposed to music.

Dr. Emoto reports that he found stunning correlations between the types of music played and the quality and beauty of the ice crystals that would form upon freezing. For instance, the crystal below on the left was observed in a sample of distilled water that had been played Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, and the crystal on the right was observed in a sample of distilled water that had been played so-called “heavy metal” music (Emoto, Messages 17). It is interesting to note that this claim closely mirrors the well-known pseudoscientific and so-far unsubstantiated claim that classical music has a beneficial effect on plant growth, and rock music hinders plant growth.

Fig.7. Distilled Water Crystals after Music (Emoto, Messages)

Following his study of the effects of music on ice crystal formation in distilled water, Dr. Emoto wondered if water crystal structure might be affected by other seemingly illogical external things, such as words written on paper. In the HMW prologue, Dr. Emoto states, “It didn’t seem logical for water to ‘read’ the writing, understand the meaning, and change form accordingly. But I knew from the experiments with music that strange things could happen.”

He began by writing phrases like “thank you” and “you fool” in various languages on paper and placing the paper under the distilled water samples, and his published photos below (Emoto, Messages 7) show a surprising result. Samples that had been exposed to the words “thank you” exhibited beautiful crystals, while samples that had been exposed to the words “you fool” would not form crystals at all.

Fig. 8. Distilled Water Crystals after Written Words (Emoto, Messages)

Encouraged by his findings, Emoto began studying the effects of prayer, blessings, and spoken words. Not surprisingly, his results indicated that water crystal formation was also sensitive to these things–yielding his current hypothesis; “Molecules of water are affected by our thoughts, words, and feelings.” (Emoto, Messages cover)

Dr. Emoto’s published method of obtaining photographs of crystals involves a relatively simple and inexpensive process. 0.5 mL samples of liquid water from a specific sample are placed on 100 petri dishes that are then frozen and stored at a temperature of -25°C for three hours in a freezer. A sample is removed from the freezer for observation under a microscope with a camera in a room with a constant temperature of -5°C. As the microscope’s light melts the top of the sample, crystals are observed and photos are taken (Emoto, Healing 2).

As quoted in an interview with Jon Woodhouse published in the Maui News, Emoto stated, “I did not start out with any modern scientific background. I did not even know the limit of science to stop me from giving this research a chance.” Not having been educated in the scientific community, Emoto has been happy to do his “research” without accurately employing the scientific method. While he does employ the spirit of the scientific method in his research design, he makes critical mistakes in its rigor. For example, Emoto’s research does employ observation of a physical phenomenon, formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, and testing and revising the hypothesis, but he makes the critical mistake of failing to minimize the influence of the experimenter’s bias on the outcome of the research.

Dr. Emoto’s procedure for photographing crystals has no controlled means of ensuring that experimenter’s bias is prevented or minimized. For example, his methodology does not ensure that the obtained results are not selected consciously or subconsciously by the photographer. In fact, in the Maui News interview, Dr. Emoto specifically stated, “I do not require any blind tests on any samples,” but rather he believes that “the researcher’s aesthetic sense and character is the most important aspect when taking crystal photographs.” Emoto’s belief that ice crystal formation is sensitive to human thought lead him to select technicians who would not affect crystal formation with negative thoughts over technicians who had formal research experience.

While it is possible that he did, in fact, discover that water has an observable sensitivity to external stimuli such as prayer and words, Dr. Emoto’s experimental design and clinical procedures do not prove the claim. A double blind procedure in which a photographer would not know what water sample he or she was photographing would make the claim considerably more credible.

Emoto’s procedure, while simple and direct, does not eliminate numerous possible sources of error. Ice crystal structural formation is dependent on numerous environmental factors, the most important of which are temperature and humidity. While Emoto minimized some possible sources of error by conducting his studies in the same room with the same sample sizes, the same freezer and same microscope each time, other possible sources of error were not addressed. For example the Petri dishes were not sealed to prevent contamination or disturbance by the operator or environment; A simple thing such as the photographer’s breath while using the microscope could affect the warming rate of the frozen sample and temperature of crystal formation, thus affecting the structure of the resultant crystal.

As Dr. Emoto has not published the entirety of his photographs, it is unknown if he ruled out or ignored crystals that did not support his hypothesis. HMW and the JACM article only contain selected photos that support his claims, and we are left to wonder what the rest of the pictures look like. His procedures state that in any given test he will photograph 100 petri dish samples, yet only one picture per test is provided to the public. Emoto also fails to publish any findings that contradict his claim (or that were at least inconclusive). No errors are currently published in the JACM article, his websites, or his HMW book that my research has been able to uncover.

It is also worth noting that Dr. Emoto’s procedures indicate that his samples are frozen at -25°C, and his ice crystals are formed at -5°C. According to Figure 3, these temperatures should produce mostly column crystals rather than plate crystals, yet not one of Emoto’s published photos show a column crystal. This makes Dr. Emoto’s data suspect (as they appear to conflict with the findings of well-respected researcher) and indicates the possibility that Emoto excluded non-supportive data from his publications.

While Emoto has published his claim in one peer reviewed journal, it has neither been substantiated nor disproved by research scientists. It is worth noting that Emoto’s Journal article is not a scientific report, but a three page long “photo essay.” Dr. Emoto, himself, stated “Even though my book, Message from Water, was first published in 1999 and has been translated in over 20 languages, I have not heard of anybody else conducting similar research” (Woodhouse). His claims resonate with “Alternative therapists, religious leaders, spiritual researchers, artists, and musicians” (Emoto, Healing 3), but it appears that his work has widely been disregarded by traditional scientists as pseudoscience that does not merit further inspection.

The only published reproduction of Emoto’s work on record was conducted by Mr. Damian Nash’s AP psychology class at Durango High School in Colorado. Despite numerous difficulties reproducing Emoto’s procedure and controlling the temperature and sample freezing and melting rates, at least the class employed a blind experimental design to eliminate the possibility of experimenter’s bias when photographing the water samples. As published on the website of the Institute of Noetic Sciences on May 25, 2004, Mr. Nash states that the team “did not find sufficient evidence to refute or accept Emoto’s hypothesis that thought influences water crystal formation.”

There are innumerable companies today that make their livelihoods selling information and products that are supposed to be beneficial to human health. Ranging from miracle cures to last-ditch efforts, they are at best at least based substantiated ideas, and are at worst complete falsehoods. Unfortunately for his credibility with the scientific community, Dr. Emoto sells products based on his claims. For example, the products page of Emoto’s Hado website is currently offering “geometrically perfect” “Indigo water” that is “highly charged hexagonally structured concentrate,” and supposedly creates “structured water” that is “is more easily assimilated at the cellular level” for $35 for an eight-ounce bottle. Without providing scientific research references for the allegedly amazing qualities of his Indigo Water, Emoto’s commercial venture calls to mind ethical concerns regarding his intent and motivation—questions that would not be present if any scientist had published research supporting his claims.

At the very least Dr. Emoto’s claims are interesting thought stimulators. If they are true, then there are far reaching implications for the world, and the question that is posed in the Bleep movie becomes extremely important; “If thoughts can do this to water, what can they do to us?” Many people in our modern age want desperately to believe that we can affect our reality by our thoughts alone—a belief that is bolstered by Emoto’s claims. But if they are false, then he is misleading all of them and manipulating their hopes and view of the world.

Since Dr. Emoto is going it alone he receives much criticism for being a quack selling quackery. For example, the James Randi Educational foundation, an organization that offers a “one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event” (Randi, Challenge) has offered to give Dr. Emoto the prize if he will agree “to perform his tests in a double-blind fashion” (Randi, Water), yet Dr. Emoto has not responded.

It is this crucial lack of scientific foundation that prevents Dr. Emoto’s work from attracting interest by widely accepted and respected scientists at long-standing research institutions. This is unfortunate for the world if there is, after all, truth to his claims–as reproduction of his results by any scientist would lend much credence to his work. A little change in Emoto’s experimental design would do great things for the credibility of his claims. I recommend the following to ground his work in sound scientific principle:

* Eliminate the possibility of the scientist’s bias affecting the experiment’s results by implementing double blind procedures.
* Publish the entire collection of photos for all water sample tests that he has performed, not just the ones that support his claim.
* Minimize the sources of possible error in his procedures, such as variation in temperature and humidity between sample.
* Pay more attention to the time-tested methods of the scientific community rather than disregarding them. Emoto’s research could go much farther if he could interest scientists around the world in testing his hypothesis.

After the lengthy review of Emoto’s research methods and results, I have come to believe that Dr. Emoto is offering pseudoscience to the masses in the guise of defensible research. Only time and review by others will tell if there is any truth at the heart of Mr. Emoto’s claims, as Emoto himself thoroughly believes in his findings but does not value the scientific method or community. What is truly fearsome is the great numbers of people that accept his words as proven facts without looking deeper to find out if his claims are truly justified. While I respect Dr. Emoto’s desire to save the Earth’s water from contamination and pollution, unless he can produce a scientific paper and get it published in a scientific journal, I believe that he will continue to be ignored by the scientific community, and his claims will never be soundly proved or disproved.

Works Cited

Emoto, Masaru. “Healing with Water.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Volume 10, Number 1, 2004, pp. 19-21

—. The Hidden Messages in Water. Oregon: Beyond Words Publishing, 2004.

Libbrecht, Kenneth. “A Snow Crystal Primer: The basic facts about snowflakes and snow crystals.” Feb 1999. California Institute of Technology. Dec 2005. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/primer/primer.htm

Nash, Damian. “Replicating the Water/Thought Experiment of Dr. Masaru Emoto.” May 2004. Institute of the Noetic Sciences. Dec. 2005. http://66.201.42.16/viewitem.php3?id=910&catid=510&kbid=ionsikc

Randi James. “Chiropractic Crackup, Talking to Water, Sylvia Emerges, Bidlack’s Lumps, An MS Miracle, and a Korean Magic Stone.” May 2003. James Randi Educational Foundation. Nov. 2005.

—. “One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.” 2005. James Randi Educational Foundation. Nov. 2005.

Woodhouse, Jon. “Crystal Clear.” Maui News 13 February 2005.

If you would like to comment, please “Leave a Reply” at the very end of this page. 

UPDATE February 26, 2014:Over the last eight years I’ve received literally thousands of requests to design & perform a scientifically sound double-blind research project to try to prove or disprove Emoto’s claims. I have a plan to create and perform the research if I receive enough funding to fund the study. If you would like to see Emoto’s claims tested in a proper study, please donate to the it. All donors will receive status updates as milestones are achieved and will receive the final paper with rights to quote and reproduce it per a creative commons license.


For more information, click here.

110 Responses to Are Dr. Masaru Emoto’s Fantastic Claims Actually Real?

  1. Thank you Kristopher, for your investigation. I wanted to see if I should include Emoto’s book on my website. As a result of this article, I won’t, and have pulled the book from my waiting area book case. While I believe that thoughts and intentions influence molecules, perhaps along the lines of what Emoto suggests, it would help the stewardship of this planet if the general public had a better understanding of the scientific method. Your article is an excellent example of the open minded thinking that we need.

  2. shaun page says:

    If something seems to be to good, it probably is!
    Thanks for your paper and critique on this vary important matter.
    I hope that more of the science community will spend some time on these statements to confirm there validity.
    I would love to find out more about this subject for myself.
    I am planning to run the test Dr Emoto did with the rice grains in water as a starting point.

  3. Paul Henry Woodward says:

    Thank you for your informed analysis of Dr Emoto’s work. I would truly love to believe in the claims and “research” into water crystals by him but also want the the research to be completed thoroughly.
    I can’t understand that if there are all these calls for research into this fasinating subject why there has not been a landslide of follow-up studies to back up or disclaim?

    • dielenator says:

      “Many people in our modern age want desperately to believe that we can affect our reality by our thoughts alone.” Kristopher Setchfield, BA, Health Science, Natural Science Department, Castleton State College, Vermont.

      I’ve been working on a non-fiction book called “Seeking Self: Our Biological Imperative to Create Narrative” since Mon 23 Nov, 2009. I will eventually organize it and submit it for publishing.

      One of the important findings of my research confirms the above statement. For as long as we have been conscious of ourselves, there is a tendency to believe in the power of thought alone. This has led to some interesting revelations, showing that in fact we miss much that goes on in our environment and our own brains. We fill in the gaps with stories (unfortunately much of it lies). This is not a negative indictment of the human species; it’s simply a biological fact of our evolution. Sometimes, we can get the right answer for entirely the wrong reason. The truth about the brain is that sometimes we get lucky (see Dawkins’ theory of PETWAC). Most times, however, to effect real change, we’ve got to do more than just believe or think we can change or change things by thought alone. The need to believe we can change the world with thought alone is the product of a deep insecurity about our future (both personal and social) that it will become bad if we discovered that all there is to life is physical matter. The strange truth is that we do not yet know precisely what physical matter is, so we slip around that ignorance by believing we can influence matter with our minds because matter may be something intertwined with the deep mysteries of mind through processes that we will never understand. Then again, it may not.

      My position as a scientist, is a skeptical one. This is the best position to be in – by far, because at the end of the day, nearly every event turns out to be more than we can learn about it, and most often, what appeared to be magical or special at the time was not really the event itself, but our state of mind towards it.

      Photographers no doubt, are familiar with the special moments that photos can sometimes bring out. In the art of story telling, we call these micro-moments. A frog hanging by one arm from a leaf above a still pond about to fall in. This ability to freeze time, gives us the illusion that what happens in that moment is somehow iconographic of a deeper meaning, that it tells a story. This is not bad, it is just how we are wired up. If we could not place things in context and weave a story around them, we would not be able to make sense of the world. But there is such a thing as over-reading the world. Seeing more than actually appears. That over-reading phenomenon is an artefact of how our minds work, as gap fillers, as interpreters.

      The pictures of Emoto water crystals are one such example. Quoting Nash, Institute of Noetic Sciences on May 25, 2004, we “did not find sufficient evidence to refute or accept Emoto’s hypothesis that thought influences water crystal formation.” You’d be surprised what a rigorous scientific study entails. When the common person says, “I conducted an experiment”, there is a world of difference compared to when a scientist says the same thing. Take a very simple scientific step that a common person would never take, but a scientist would always take as a given: autoclaving vessels, containers and transfer implements. Not to mention fume hoods, negative air pressue, temperature control, extremely accurate weighing of quantities, control group, these are just some of the things that scientists do that ordinary people never do. And scientists do much more. So when a proper scientific study has been conducted, it has to meet all these requirements that ordinary people simply cannot achieve in their own homes.

      Thus, at the end of the day, what is more important to our understanding is not whether Emoto may or may not produce some interesting crystal patterns, but why humans have the need to tell stories about things that are not based on reality. Understanding why humans do this, is a far more important undertaking for the human species than Emoto water will ever teach us. It will take us deep into the structure of the human brain and human behavior and reveal possibilities for accepting what we are and changing those things that we can. No doubt, what we will be able to change, in time will change, so that in the future, it is highly likely that people will manipulate the genes that express the brain. In other words, designed humans.

      I have a word of caution about that, but this is not the place to go into it.

      • Paulo says:

        Nice comment, very well organized idea. Im studying psichology and i cant say that i am scientist at all. But i would like to ask you what do you think of the of neuroplasticity of the neurons? A book by scientist Norman Doidge, called The Brain That Changes Itself, based on clinical research, claims that our atitude can change the way the brain works by slightly changing its phisiological “determinants” …its like, parts of brains damaged by strokes that are not capable to carry out its functions anymore are replaced by other parts through specific practices and these other parts become able to perform tasks they werent supposed to, according to the nature of the biology that determines its functions(we have specific areas of the brain associated to specific tasks like smelling, seeing or tasting that are not supposed to be able to do otherwise; we can only make a “tasting-neuron” become a “seeing-neuron” by sending it information to do so)). My point is, if what Norman Doidge’s claims are true( and i believe that there is some scientificity into its work), then isnt that proof that atitude can change biology? And what about the neuropsychoimunology, a phenomenon widely studied? In this case, somehow, our perception of the world, that results in a specific state of humor, influences our imuno-activity; the better the humor, the better our imunitary system works(i think this is something widely accepted even without knowledge of the research to it). There is an important control group in the clinical research made about the subject: the group is the group of the widows. Widows live in constant grief and sorrow after the departure of their loved ones and there is clinical data showing that the rates of cancer and other complicated diseases are more high in these group than in the general population. And again my question, isnt this some proof that our thought is affecting our biology?
        The problem about skepticism is that, besides just being critic(wich is more easy than being creative) and not taking risks, it also castrates people’s attempts to be creative instead of encouraging the test of all possibilities. And dont get me wrong, im not being personal here, its just my perspective of what skepticism is.

        Cheers

      • ken says:

        I think we all have differen’t SKILLS.For exampel I can relax my eyes and see a white line between the earth and the sky.This only happends between objects on earth that are natural mountains,Earth, trees.Not man made objects buildings cars ect.I have one picture I took of a mountain and the same white line I can see is on this picture and only this picture not on other pictures.I was told this is the Earths magnetic field.My point is I’ve learned about three levels in this life.Phyisical,mental and sperituall .It’s up to you to learn how to connect them.I know there’s more but life is to short for one person to learn them all.If you relax,un focus you’re eyes. Look with you’re eye lids slightly closed because this cuts down the amount of sunlight that enters the eyes.You will be superised.Read Radionics by David V. Tansley D.C.With a forward by Dr Ian C.B. Pearce.This book is hard to get. We are not humans.We are just people.

      • Curious, how’s the book coming?

      • Kim says:

        Please finish your book…I really want to read it! I like the way you think.

  4. Sean says:

    While plausible, it seems that there’s nothing even close to definitive concerning Emoto’s proffers.Furthermore he is a doctor of what? A Ph.D from where?. That might be a good starting point. While certainly there are all sorts of things that are either poorly or nor at all understood in our existential milieu but nonetheless do exist, Emoto’s methodology and what appears to be his self serving intransigence does this subject a very serious disservice. A prima facie presentation renders Emoto’s work interesting and even fascinating. However, scratching a bit beneath the surface seems to expose him as a self serving charlatan. While I want with all my heart to believe his findings (which means, of course, that I should never be one analyzing data. It seems that Emoto cares nothing for the maintenance of such objectivity), until he opens up his findings to a deeper scrutiny and a more broad analysis, I’ve no logical choice but to regard his findings as fuzzy. It strikes me that the exact same crystals may be there to be found in any one of the samples exposed to any one of the outside stimuli but it’s only the ones which back up Emoto’s posits from the different dishes which are displayed. Am I wrong here? While I did believe the the hype for quite a while, a very basic and not so through investigation (one needn’t go far) on my part revealed some serious trouble here. Dr. Emoto, this is a matter of basic integrity. Perhaps your findings are legitimate (and they very well may be). Perhaps not. Perhaps they move in the direction of legitimacy but yield nothing definitive. No one knows. Please open them up to a broad based review and replicate your analysis under rigorous conditions conducted by independent and fully unbiased assessors. Until then you appear to be selling snake oil to the unwary and unsuspecting and are doing so in a most shameful and unscrupulous manner. It does seem that you’ve become wealthy as a result of your “findings”. As m matter of basic decency, declare a moratorium on your sales and allow the engagement of deeper scrutiny. You may be right. However, at this juncture I find that a difficult leap to make. I ask you respectfully and even prayerfully to prove me wrong.

  5. I wonder if something could be done to change – and improve – the quality of water which has become radioactive? Thanks if Dr. Emoto can answer this question…
    With best wishes,
    S. de M.

  6. Gilad says:

    Hi,
    I’m running a blog in Hebrew (Israel) on the subject of critical thinking.
    I was looking for some good stuff and found your research work. I think it is great! I’ve seen this “Bleep” thing a few years ago, and vaguely remembered this strange, suspicious experiment.
    do you have any problem if I translate parts of your post to Hebrew, mentioning of course that you are the source (+link to your blog)?
    best regards,
    Gilad

  7. Steve says:

    As a Professional healer…those who require demonstatable proof of thought focus energy…Watch this utube video…

    Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F3ovb2kZ9Q&feature=related

    Steve

    • Dave says:

      That video isn’t proof, it’s a demonstration of talent. Whether that talent is the manipulation of a mystical energy or just carnival tricks is undetermined.

  8. Joss Price says:

    Hi Kristopher,

    It’s a really good piece and have you now gone on to create rigorous, controlled experiments to determine the genuine effects of prayer/sentiment on water? Intention is being well studied in other area with extraordinary results and this seems worth further exploration done with the correct scientific protocol. It’s a shame to dismiss something and stop there rather than explore some of the potential anomalies that Emoto may have discovered.

    Best
    Joss Price

    • Gilad says:

      Hi Joss,
      “Intention is being well studied in other area with extraordinary results ” – can you please give references? I’m interested.
      thanks,
      Gilad

  9. As one who has witnessed bona fide miracles in the Christian community, it upsets me that Emoto fuses a basic Christian belief, that prayer changes things for the better, with the New Age belief that positive thoughts change things for the better, to sell a product. I think it does damage to Christianity when someone with a genuine Christian witness throws in the water crystal story as further proof of the power of prayer; it waters down their witness and people will tune them out.

    • Dave says:

      Christian “witnessing” is bunk too….

    • Sabrina says:

      If a person isn’t going to listen to the Christian message, they won’t no matter what. Remember there were people who didn’t believe Christ when he walked amongst us humans 2000 years ago. Personally, I think Dr. Emoto’s experiment proves much of what we as Christians teach regarding prayer, and also demostrates the scripture that reads as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. No, it’s not just thoughts alone, but thought are very powerful because they can lead to actions.

      • Clearly, Sabrina, you have failed to even vaguely understand the point of this article. The power of prayer does not stand up to scientific scrutiny, and if you still believe that it does, then you should go on and just believe any and all woo ever propounded…

  10. Rick says:

    http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2009/01/water-crystal-replication-study.html

    Would seem to be relevant.

    Radin, D., Lund, N., Emoto, M., Kizu, T. (2008). Effects of distant intention on water crystal formation: A triple-blind replication. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 22(4), 481-493.

    An experiment tested the hypothesis that water exposed to distant intentions affects the aesthetic rating of ice crystals formed from that water. Over three days, 1,900 people in Austria and Germany focused their intentions towards water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. Water samples located near the target water, but unknown to the people providing intentions, acted as “proximal” controls. Other samples located outside the shielded room acted as distant controls.

    Ice drops formed from samples of water in the different treatment conditions were photographed by a technician, each image was assessed for aesthetic beauty by over 2,500 independent judges, and the resulting data were analyzed, all by individuals blind with respect to the underlying treatment conditions.

    Results suggested that crystal images in the intentionally treated condition were rated as aesthetically more beautiful than proximal control crystals (p = 0.03, one-tailed). This outcome replicates the results of an earlier (double blind) pilot test.

    .

    Feel free to email me at the address above.

  11. Ra'amayan says:

    We are 70% water

    Our brains are 70% Water

    Water is the carrier of impulses through the nervous system

    Our embryo’s are 99% water, it is the medium for all life.

    It is an intelligence that is so much more powerful than your average ‘scientist’ gives it credit for.

    Emoto’s work does not meet the criteria for today’s empirical scientific methodical analysis, granted.

    But he has opened up the eyes of the word to the powerful intelligence that is water

    There are 5 ancient elements- Water is one of them. It is powerful, and most ‘scientists’ have little clue as to how and why it works the way it does.

    Time for some deeper analysis

    • Te Moli says:

      I agree, there is much more to life than can be explained within the parameters of rationalism and empiricism. The scientific paradigm is but one of an array of world views at our disposal.

      Interesting analysis nonetheless of Emoto’s work to show where it currently sits in terms of meeting the requirements of scientific rigour, thanks.

    • 11 says:

      I agree. Even if Mr. Emoto is a quack, people need to realize intent is important. We can’t rely on the scientific community, for much anyway, they have careers to protect and little funding. I don’t think there is anything paranormal about thoughts altering reality to some degree. People only think things are paranormal until its proven by science, then it becomes nature. Things that seem magical are just things that are too complex for scientists to understand at the moment. Not to mention, there may just be some things we can’t understand because our brains have a limited way of taking in information. There will always be hidden aspects of reality I’m sure. I think it should be investigated more, it’s foolish to scoff and move on.

  12. W. M.Stelmachowicz says:

    The truth is is that in the ‘scientific’ mode of thought, skepticism and cynicism by the observer or ‘scientist’ as well as opptimism etc. therefore subjectivity play a huge role in what one wants to see and does not want to see… You choose not to see so established conditions to refute. I wonder why? I we analyze honestly, we must conclude that there is not one single benefit ever produced for humanity via western ideology within the ‘scientific method’. All impacts either directly or indirectly to the eventual destruction of some part of our ecology… thus causing suffering. I must wonder at why would any one choose skepticsim over deciding to maintain loving thoughts??????? no matter what the experimental rigours…. I would rather be seated next to Emoto than you because at know that he wishes me well. I wish you all scincerely well and hope you choose the Light. We have too much distraction from the original message and I am weary of so much cultivation of only one part of our intellect at the expense of the other – that of ‘gut intuition’ or the ‘spirit’ or whatever way you desire to define it. In the end, do you feel truly at peace with your ‘findings’? Wake up, stop missing the point!

    • Alistair says:

      “I we analyze honestly, we must conclude that there is not one single benefit ever produced for humanity via western ideology within the ‘scientific method”

      Apparently, all forms of western medicine that has prolonged so many human lives over the course of the years is in no way beneficial. Makes sense.
      And I guess having a calender to know when it’s gonna snow doesn’t really help people much either huh.
      Oh, and that computer you’re typing on? Yeah, fuck that.

      You ask “why”? Maybe it’s time to shed this infantile mentality. You might find that there’s more to life than cozy pleasures.

      But what do I know, right? I’m just a ‘cynical, negative, scientist”. Lol.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I think the Dr. has some fascinating points to consider, and the counterpoints to his study are worth considering as well. Regardless of studies and counterpoints, I have no doubt that positive thoughts and positive energy can manifest positive things in the world. So studies and arguments against them make no difference to me. I don’t need anyone else to tell me what really matters in life. Let’s face it, there is no such thing as unbiased research. And that is because science explains very little about the universe (contrary to what the Age of Enlightenment would have us believe, which by the way was an extremely recent and short period in the history of mankind). A study that seemingly answers one question will lead to numerous new questions. I choose to trust myself. I am a scientist at heart and a lover of chemistry and physics, but I am also very spiritual, and I am well aware that these two topics are much more intertwined than post-Enlightenment society wants to admit or face. People might not say it out loud, but many will admit to me when prompted behind closed doors that they have beliefs or experiences that would seem “crazy” to others. It’s sad that humans have so much knowledge of the spirit that lies within, but a short period in history has caused us to turn away from our own intuition–to put down eons of knowledge of Native peoples of every continent and nation–and instead depend on others to do the thinking for us and tell us what is and what isn’t and what we should believe and what we shouldn’t based on “research”, and that it’s somehow unacceptable to admit to having beliefs that many others share behind closed doors! I hope I am making sense.

    I’ve enjoyed the comments I’ve read so far, whether I’ve agreed or not.

    • Lade says:

      Wow, Elizabeth, so true. We know a lot more by our Spirits if we allow ourselves. You put it so succinctly! Well done.

    • “So studies and arguments against them make little difference to me” – and you claim to be a lover of physics and chemistry? I believe what I believe because I believe it, even if shown to be false. Nice to know that you care about the truth.

  14. lolipop says:

    Why don’t YOU conduct some experiments then Kristopher?!It’s all very well to be disrespectful of others findings when you have not actually told anyone anything that suggests otherwise.You clearly have no understanding of the universe or the enigma of life.And maybe if you did bother to find out a bit more you may become all the wiser.
    I can’t believe there are scientists out there who are so stupid! Of course our thoughts create our reality. Good Lord what are we all made of?Everything is a buzzing vibratory frequency and if more people read Dr Emoto’s book on water what a better planet earth this would be!

  15. Adam says:

    I agree with W. M.Stelmachowicz.

  16. simone says:

    My friend’s family name in Hitler.
    how can water understand if I’m talking about my good inocent friend or about that Hitler who killed many people. ?!!!!!!!!! hahaha.

    this experiment is tested by scientists and proved to be wrong.
    you can check the Wikipedia to know why.
    thanks

    • Hendrik says:

      Hi,
      about the test with the name Hitler.
      When the name Hitler was written down, the thoughts of the scientist where with the intenttion of the person Adolf Hitler, who have killed miljoens of people.
      So the writing was carrying the information of the sence of the scientist.
      Writing down the name Adolf Hitler, from a sence of Love and Light would have change the information.
      Writing down the name of Hitler, as the name of your friend, willl bring the energy and information of your friend(family) within the writing.

      With Love and Light, Hendrik

    • 11 says:

      I think someone in defense of the theory would say, “when a person thinks of your good friend Hitler, they project good vibes and thoughts because the thought of him brings pleasant feelings. If someone is referencing Hitler of Austria, then likely there is a negative connotation attached to the name.” Plus, a person is more subjective than a phrase like “love” or “hate”. So I would imagine the results would be somewhat neutral or inconclusive when using an actual persons name. Which it’s interesting to note Mr. Emoto never did the experiment using subjective words or neutral phrases. I’d like to see that.

  17. nicolas kuske says:

    Hey Kristopher.

    Thank you for your intelligent analysis, and of course for sharing it with us.
    The main problem seems to me that of 100 petry dishes Dr. Emoto only shows one picture and does not openly reveal the others.
    If that is true, then it is ignorant and irresponsible of him.

    I am in search of the truth and always openminded, because nothing exists that does not exist, but there is a difference in physical truth for everybody else to use, and
    the truth in ones one head.
    It seems to me, Dr. Emoto is someone who, at least in this particular case, is not able to see the difference.
    I will not regard his findings as physical relevant anymore.

    Keep it up :)

  18. Carl says:

    Kristopher,
    I would suggest you to put the ad of that $35 eight-ounce blessed water sold by Dr. Emoto at your article’s heading. That will certainly save us a lot of time to reach a conclusion.
    Did Einstein try to sell an eight-ounce “Time Travel Machine” when he published his essay on Relativity?

  19. Carlson says:

    Emoto’s work has intrigued me for years! Since we are dealing with a physical and spiritual synthesis, and attempting a scientific analysis, I would offer Biblical analogies of blessing and cursing as becoming pertinent. Indeed, Judeo-Christian theology is rooted in that which is spoken, be it “names” (above all names?) or blessing and cursing. Ultimately, are we treading the thresholds of “faith?” After all, thoughts manifesting themselves into reality isn’t really new.

  20. Andrea says:

    Hello There:)

    Thanks for the great work. I have one question though…what keeps you from trying to reproduce this yourself? It’s possible that he has something here, and simply lacks the organizational skills, or and alternate hypothesis: Perhaps a double blind study will not work here, as the procedure, when influenced by thoughts or words, requires energy behind it to make the shift. Simply writing the words on paper, with no one directly influencing the water, will give false results. I think you could easily reproduce the experiments such as tap water vs spring water in the places he showed them, in a double blind fashion. What stops you from conducting this experiment (in fact, I would, if i had lab access…). The scientific method, as we use it, has many shortcomings. Certainly in the field of subtle energy’s produced by humans, the act of being observed itself, changes the results. I personally believe his work, holes and all, but I do believe that someone like you, who was interested to begin with, might continue this work and see if you can’t work out the bugs in his method. You say you saw no reason to compel you to look further, and there is your flaw. Your curiosity alone should be enough. You cannot disprove it either if you simply think yourself above it. Personally, I don’t need any proof that energy can effect matter. As the saying goes: “You don’t have to be a weatherman to look around and see the weather.”

    • And yet another who doesn’t need any evidence to believe in whatever the heck they want – this is the worst form of confirmation bias. It is a miracle that you use reason in every area of your life except when it comes to discovering whether a claim is true or not. The burden of proof is on the claimant (Dr. Emoto), although you wouldn’t understand or care about that…

  21. The Truth is Apparent says:

    Why not use apples instead of water crystals? Check it out…

    http://javeria.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/effects-of-quran-vs-effects-of-music-on-an-apple

    http://discomaulvi.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/effect-music-vs-quran-on-apple-heart

    The above links are from similar grade school experiments done for science fairs that studied the results of playing music vs playing verses from the Quran and the results are AMAZING.

    Surely a real scientist could easily replicate such an experiment with complete control on something that is less volatile than water crystals. Why not give it a shot?

  22. Brilliant says:

    Ths is why i read your artical. “I set off to conduct a research project in the chemistry department of Castleton College in Vermont to see if I could find sufficient evidence and support for Dr. Emoto’s claims to merit conducting a deeper research project to try to reproduce his work.” then you say theres no point after you see some flaws in his method. Correct the flaws in the method and do the study!!!!! Please! Its kind of disrespectfull to do the bait and switch.

    • Have you got thousands of dollars and months of time to perform an experiment when it is abundantly clear that the original work shows clear confirmation bias. There’s a good reason no one else is doing this research, and it isn’t because scientists are scared of him being correct

  23. Alex says:

    Here is an article from Wikipedia:

    Quantum entanglement occurs when particles such as photons, electrons, molecules as large as “buckyballs”,[1][2] and even small diamonds[3] [4] interact physically and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that each resulting member of a pair is properly described by the same quantum mechanical description (state), which is indefinite in terms of important factors such as position,[5] momentum, spin, polarization, etc. According to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, their shared state is indefinite until measured.[6] Quantum entanglement is a form of quantum superposition. When a measurement is made and it causes one member of such a pair to take on a definite value (e.g., clockwise spin), the other member of this entangled pair will at any subsequent time[7] be found to have taken the appropriately correlated value (e.g., counterclockwise spin). Thus, there is a correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs, and this correlation is observed even though the entangled pair may have been separated by arbitrarily large distances.[8]

    This behavior is theoretically coherent and has been demonstrated experimentally, and it is accepted by the physics community. However there is some debate[9] about a possible underlying mechanism that enables this correlation to occur even when the separation distance is large. The difference in opinion derives from espousal of various interpretations of quantum mechanics.

    Research into quantum entanglement was initiated by the EPR paradox paper of Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen in 1935,[10] and several papers by Erwin Schrödinger shortly thereafter.[11][12] Although these first studies focused on the counterintuitive properties of entanglement, with the aim of criticizing quantum mechanics, eventually entanglement was verified experimentally[13], and recognized as a valid, fundamental feature of quantum mechanics; the focus of the research has now changed to its utilization as a resource for communication and computation.

    Here is my take as to why the scientific community is silent on the matter of coming up with methods to test Dr Emoto’s hypothesis. To isolate what exactly in the brain (or is it the brain) is acting at a distance on the water molecules while it is changing states is just way too complex to tackle. It is on the scale of NIH medical research efforts. The million dollar challenge is just not enough. Maybe a 100 billion dollars might prick up some ears.

  24. Dario says:

    Your actual work does not actually prove that Mr. Emoto’s work is true or not. I was expecting to read something more substantial or even a true “Scientific” research, but you have not done so, what you only have done is trying to disprove the published work by Emoto. Peer review is not actually a real scientific method of proving something or not as any incoming theory has to be accepted by the common peers and again is subject to bias. The peer review is just a terrible way for the science to advance and it is the reason why discoveries are being made by “outsiders” rather than “scientists”. Peer review has just become a sort of religion or dogma, and a way of getting funded to do scientific research you have to go with the accepterd theory however nonsensical it might be. Again, it would have been interesting to see your own research on this subject and that you fixed all the problems in the research you found on Mr. Emoto, but maybe you were not brave enough to do it as it may have brought ridicule into your research career. It is very sad that the scientists are now becoming pseudoscientists and selling the people a dogma rather than a true discovery, we are seeing now that the discoveries are being made by others, but yet this is what has happened before and we have plenty of evidence of this in the past, just remember Galileo and others.

    • Dr. C. Parrott says:

      “The peer review is just a terrible way for the science to advance and it is the reason why discoveries are being made by “outsiders” rather than “scientists”. ”

      You need to learn how to play by the rules before you can get more creative and change and or break them credibly.

      You can be an excellent soccer team, however if the rules of soccer are disregarded any wins against another team are void.

  25. Lars says:

    Thank you Kristopher for your article and shedding more light on the methodology of Dr. Emoto’s work. And thanks to all the others for sharing your thoughts even though I am always amazed as to how strong and even aggressive some people voice their opinion. I think we should all be grateful for tools like the Internet which allows us to share and discuss information and things like Dr. Emoto’s work.
    I agree that it is a bit unfortunate that nobody has yet tried to continue such research on water. It may be true that Dr. Emoto has not applied basic scientific procedures to conduct his experiments and I agree that it would be absolutely beneficial if he would revisit his work to support his claims. On the other hand, just look at how many people he has inspired to think beyond our science, no matter if he is right or wrong. If it makes people think about their relation to our basic resource water and its relation to the water in our body, how feelings or thoughts my influence both, that’s already a great impact, I think. I am a Reiki Master with a Masters Degree in Telecommunications which is on one hand a clash but on the other hand I see amazing similarities between the way our telecom world functions and the way our energetic structure works and how we interconnect with others and the Earth’s magnetic field. And I am absolutely fascinated and glad to see that for instance more and more physicians are opening up and utilizing the work and help of alternative practices like energy work. I agree with Elizabeth that we or most of us have lost the trust in what we can’t grasp with our common senses, and those who have experienced unusual things are often holding it back because it seems crazy to them or the scientific world (no offense!). Our human body is undoubtedly a complex system (including the water running through it), and so is the invisible part of us and the world around us. It always amazes me that it is so normal for people to use their phones for talking and texting with others across the globe but when it comes to other means of communication between one another, without any technical tools like phones, it is so hard for them to accept that it works pretty much the same way and that our thoughts and feelings are the driving force behind it, instead of amplifiers and modulators in our phones. Anyway, coming back to Dr. Emoto’s controversial work, I salute to him for doing it and for triggering others to think about it. I love his book for children and it puts a smile on their face and catches their interest too. Anyone who has kids and has learned to listen very closely to what they have to say, will agree that they can teach us a lot. They are closer to the source, where we all came from. Their natural interest and curiosity is not (yet) impacted by an overwhelming urge of rationalization and desire to prove or disprove everything with our limited scientific tools and knowledge (again, no offense!). To Elizabeth’s point, we should listen closer and embrace what our indigenous fellows have to say about our world, the capabilities that lie within all of us and how we can learn to trust ourselves again, unfold what we have forgotten and share it with others without being denounced. My apologies if I went above and beyond here, but in the end it is all related to the same desire – demystifying our environment, ourselves and the hope for a happier, healthier and more balanced life on this planet. Please be more open, supportive, and ask your kids what they think about all this – seriously!

  26. Lars says:

    Here is an interesting interview with a scientist who became spiritual – Bruce Lipton.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1Tt0yGMm88&feature=related
    There is much more stuff from him on youtube and I find what he says resonates perfectly with my core beliefs of how we (humans) function AND how we can influence what surrounds us, including water.

    • Believing things because they resonate with your personal beliefs is EXACTLY confirmation bias. I suggest you look into the concept of critical thinking if you care about the truth.

  27. Ana says:

    And how do you explain the results obtained with the rice experiment? I found on youtube many reports from several diferent people who repeated this experiment and had really interesting results…
    I also dont understand why do you dont try the experiment on the water by yourself. If you have a microscope and slides and a freezer you dont need more than one day to try a simple experiment and give more strenght to your text… I would rather try it by myself and make my own conclusions than only publish suggestions and critics of the other people work for people to read. Anyway thanks for your text, it made me more enthusiastic to try the experiment by myself!

  28. Charles says:

    I am curious to hear your opinion on if you think his finding are possible or not and if you think thoughts can effect molecules.

  29. Rita says:

    Anyone reading this will no doubt consider they have little free time [ although time is illusory ] so I will endeavour to keep it brief and free from using 20 words when 2 will do.

    A reply on this blog already details the % of water we are – the tools of current science can’t really explain why we are not a puddle on the floor. Water is not held in our cells as cells are empty, nuceli, protons quarks – all non solid – all energy. Quantum physcis is only now just touching upon what the ancients always knew – we are all energy and all connected.

    Matter does not, matter, as it is not solid and there are no such things as solids, only our perception of solidity, as we vibrate and resonante at frequencies that allow us to interact in the perception of solidity.

    Matter is energy, we are energy, thoughts and feelings are energy, thoughts and feelings affect all energy as everything is connected. Thoughts and feelings affect our being, our health, each other and matter [ as of course matter is only energy !].

    This is not religious or new age it is a science fact even within the scientific limitations of the current measuring tools.

    And as Shakespeare would say – “there’s the rub ”

    The main stream world of science is critised [ and in my view often rightly so] as it often displays limited thinking. The premise is if it can’t be measured within the limiting confines of either current technology or learning then it is not provable so therefore not right.

    A whole area of physics exists that blows the Newtonian physics thinking out of the water. Instead of being excited and clamouring to discover the great things this may mean main stream science huddles together in that well known river DE NILE – Denial and fear unforunatley abound.

    There are endless good possibilities [ except maybe from those making billions from drugs for illness and arms] in understanding our own energy and the effects of our thoughts and feelings on ourselves and the world.

    It is ARROGANT although possibly expected, to say ” These are the measuring tools we use, it can’t be measured with them so it’s not proper, real or right”

    20 years ago main stream science did not have the technology to measure the energy in space. Now it accepts that what was thought ” nothing ‘ is more full of ” something ” than what was thought “something “.

    DARK MATTER has always existed, whether we had the tools or protocols to measure it or not.

    Don’t take his books from the shelves – let people make up their own minds about things.

    A lot more GOOD will come from people saying feeling and thinking loving things than not .

    And let’s embrace that available technology is usually way behind. So invent some new tools to measure new things, now there’s an idea.

    Anyone who thinks their thoughts and feelings don’t have an affect on their physiology should seriously think again.

    With love and very lovely blessing Rita

  30. Darby says:

    The hypothesis was the impact of the mind and its intention on the world around it. You took a skeptical look at the outcome and found exactly what you were looking for. Are you sure the hypothesis wasn’t confirmed?

  31. Stephanie says:

    Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15

    • Stephanie says:

      It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

      I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

      • Luis Reyes says:

        For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

        There has to be a better way to defend your point of view than to use quotes attributed to men who themselves attribute them to a deity. Everyone is entitled to believe whatever nonsense they find more palatable. But if you do choose to voice said nonsense as if it was a recorded, verifiable fact, at least make some attempt to disguise it as an intelligent argument.

  32. brian says:

    I like Elizabeth’s comments. When we are searching for answers to our mystical world we are held back by the limitation of Science that is slow to acknowledge the power of thought. Thought is a vibration, Matter is a combination of vibrations ‘stuck’. I think in the book psycho cybernetics it was stated ‘the nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real event and an imagined event’. Surely we must acknowledge the power of our indigenous people who are more at ‘one with nature’. ‘Consciousness changes physics’. I guess it is waving a red flag to a ‘scientific’ bull but wouldn’t it be great for more scientists to suspend judgment and open up more to quantum physics to support such important studies such as Emoto. i agree his methods need to be more robust but it does not matter to the many people who know the power of positive and loving thought. We just want to share it with more and more and one year we may get world peace.

  33. Elaria says:

    Thanks for this interesting paper. I do actually believe that positive thinking can influence our lives positively, just because it influences our emotions and our behaviour and encourages and inspires us to achieve our dreams. I don’t believe sitting aournd and thinking poisitive things will actually effect our lives physicially except to reduce stress and make ourselves feel better.

    I would like to believe the work given by Emoto but I cannot believe something unless I know that there is no bias in the results. It would be great to see a study which replicates it with scientific rigour. There is a reason protocols are developed. I believe if Emoto was a real researcher and really wanted to make a difference he would not only be willing, but desire to have his work scientifically proven.

  34. CrazyGata says:

    Water has no adverse secondary effects that will hinder or impair bodily functions.

    Neither does peace or the use of vibrations as a tool for peace.
    The energy wasted in this article could’ve served a more noble purpose investigating the pseudoscience of, say, pharmaceuticals and their multi-trillion industry.

    I don’t nobody calling Pfizer or Bristol Myers a quack. Then again Dr. Emoto is not paying kickbacks for “plausible” studies. So there you are.

    You might spruce up your point and make it sound as serious as you want, yet anybody can run this simple experiment, music to ease the soul. No need for pills, instead of buying into fear and skepticism, just hum.

  35. Gretchen says:

    please do the research– that would be fabulous! And I loved reading all of the comments— so many wonderful critcal (in the good sense) thinkers out there!
    All this reading has made me thirsty-

    gretchen

  36. I feel Emoto’s work is an amazing representation of sympathetic vibratory physics phenomenon at play. Possibly a vibrational imprint truly of the creator. Look around…the geometrical archetypes are permeating the very nature of all that is. We are vibrating water, living on a vibrating water planet and in a vibrating universe.

  37. mandy says:

    Dr Emoto did have double-blind and tripled blind experiments with Dean Radin, both scientific experiments showed that water treated with positive intentions DO produce more beautiful crystals.

    If you are interested in reading the academic research papers, kindly visit:

    Double blind experiment:
    http://www.internationalwaterforlifefoundation.org/IWLF.Radin_EXPLORE%20(2).pdf

    Triple blind experiment:
    http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_22_4_radin.pdf

  38. Joe says:

    I actually did an experiment about 2 years ago. I wrote up a lab, after developing a hypothesis based; on Emotos work and the what I have learned about quantum physics, chemistry, and the human energy field over the years. I hypothesized that I could use structured water to cause a massive difference in root growth and growth in the grass between the two groups.
    I had a clump of grass for the control group and exp group. I used structured water on one(exp) and regular tap water on the other(control). The exp group got bigger shortly after the experiment started. After a couple more days, I swapped the two, and continued the experiment. Not only did the [new] control group catch up and grow bigger, it got more than three times taller than the cntl group within the next week. The roots were shockingly thicker, longer and whiter than the control group. Then, I didn’t water the groups for four days. I began normal watering after that. The control group was brown/black and somewhat crispy. The exp group was not doing good at all, but still had life in it. After three days, the exp group was in full health again. The cntl group never came back. I still have the lab. I also made markings on the wall as documentation of where the grass grew throughout the three weeks of the experiment. Everyone of my friends saw the difference between the control group and the exp group while the grasses were growing, and the lab with the results.

    • Alistair says:

      As it states on the website, the “structured” water is basically distilled water. It goes on about a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and I’m yet to come across any statement even briefly explaining how he produces such an expensive magical product.

    • Wow, Joe, you really know what science is about then, don’t you? Pfft.

  39. David says:

    Well, the opening paragraph certainly grabbed me; I was intrigued as I started reading through this paper only to realise a mild sense of disappointment settle in.

    Kristopher Setchfield, BA, Health Science says:-
    “After the lengthy review of Emoto’s research methods and results, I have come to believe that Dr. Emoto is offering pseudoscience to the masses in the guise of defensible research. ” I saw no tangible evidence to incline me to spend six to 12 months of my life designing, conducting and publishing a research experiment on the topic.

    I therefore assume that a primary reason for not scientifically exploring this reported ‘phenomena’ any further is the principle lack of any tangible evidence.

    Presumably the question then arises that in accepting this published critique of Masaru Emoto’s methods used, and the attending uncertainties, then surely this topic is ripe for thorough ‘scientific’ investigation “for its own sake in the pursuit of knowledge” ?

    Therefore the following questions come to mind for me:-
    Q1 – why is the existence of any tangible evidence necessary ?
    Q2 – what direction would have been followed had any tangible evidence been ‘found’ ?
    Q3 – after all the talking has been done surely the following remains as the main ‘challenge’ for someone who has the inclination, the resources and the time:-
    “While it is possible that he did, in fact, discover that water has an observable sensitivity to external stimuli such as prayer and words, Dr. Emoto’s experimental design and clinical procedures do not prove the claim. A double blind procedure in which a photographer would not know what water sample he or she was photographing would make the claim considerably more credible.”

    As for me, I believe we embody that which is the boundary between the physical and the mystical, we make of it what we will.

    Thank you for a thoroughly interesting yet ‘incomplete’ half hour.

  40. pisimohk ka nipawit says:

    This article is very disheartening and I don’t know why someone would go to great lengths to disprove that thoughts and prayers do not affect things. So what if Emoto is making tons of money from his book, if he makes people change how they think regarding the world around them, then I would say he’s made a valuable contribution to the world. many cultures pray over their food and water before they take it into their bodies and they whole heartedly believe their thoughts and prayers will help heal them. leave it to science and to self proclaimed open minded critics to prove them wrong again.

  41. Dr. C. Parrott says:

    Lets stay open minded people and give eachother the credit we deserve, we all come from different backrounds and beliefs and require different levels of evidence to be convinced. Most of us are closed minded to anthing that doesn’t agree with our idea of the world and how it should be looked at and tested. Others are closed minded to the scientific method and that spirituality is not always what we think it is, preferring to live in ignorant bliss not questioning or exploring our beliefs.

    I am an open minded skeptic, I am open to both “supernatural” phenomena being real and the possibility that it is “hocum” if properly disproved or proved. Double blind studies are extremely important to negate experimenter bias, the power of expectation alone shows that our intention creates our reality and can do very powerful things such as heal cancer etc. A much more pleasant alternative to chemotherapy and radiation which kill you and your cancer cells.

    I found these from another site discussing the emoto work.

    http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/1550-8307/PIIS1550830706003272.pdf

    http://www.deanradin.com/papers/emotoIIproof.pdf

    and here is an interesting video that quotes scientific research outlining how intention can affect our DNA and that DNA can influence the particles around it. Then gives a demonstration of energetic healing of a large cancerous tumor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfTjlfLGBv0

    If someone knows where to find the research articles that Gregg Braden talks about can be read I would love to read them.

  42. Dr. C. Parrott says:

    Another good video, on being open minded. His dialogue indicates that “scientific” persons are open minded and spiritual persons are not, I have found both types to be more close minded than not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI

  43. Tim Krueger says:

    I echo the sentiments above. I’m left wondering how many hours of “effort” it took to discredit the scientific methodology used and what value that brings? I had the same thoughts on the lack of hard scientific methodology used after spending 2 hours reading the book. It doesn’t take extensive research to figure that out. It’s pretty apparent.

    Doing your own research in this space seems like it would have been a better use of your time and energy. I’d be interested in that.

  44. johnny haeberlin says:

    A) Emoto’s claims have great significance and significant implications.

    B) There is no debate that there is skepticism, especially among the scientific community.

    C)There is no irrefutable science that quenches my thirst for this truth. If you have irrefutable evidence that will vanquish any skepticism, SHARE IT NOW, because it’s not widely available.

    D)The movement that Emoto has created has substantial energy. Creating an experiment to demonstrate this principle would be simple.

    E)If I were Emoto and knew this to be the truth, I would invest some of my ample energy into creating an intensely rigorous scientific demonstration of the famous claim. Then, with irrefutable evidence that no one can deny, we can all celebrate. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be remembered historically as the man showed everyone the truth?

    The real importance of this claim is that it has the possibility to greatly evolve our worldview. If it’s true, we need to help the skeptics see. If it’s not, we’ll be sad, but at least we won’t be thinking inconsequential thoughts.

    • Sure, water has memory. So where do you suggest that it stores the memory of Napoleon’s bladder, or of Gandhi’s stool samples or any of the other billions of events that have happened to any water molecule?

  45. Steve Rogers says:

    I find it disappointing that Dr Emoto would sell expensive products without going through scientific testing. At best he is not a scientist, at worst a con artist. If there is truth in his theory it desperately needs real experimental data to avoid the death of the theory.

  46. Steve Rogers says:

    I forgot to say, what a reasonable and fair article this is! It would be mean and unscientific to write off Dr Emoto just because his theory is as yet untested. He may have something and he may be sincere. It’s just that it’s too early to tell.

  47. surbhi says:

    my mother never sips a drop of water without saying ‘thank you’ .all thanks to sir masaru emoto.

  48. rex aeterna says:

    Thing I like to mention that people tend to forget is science is Latin derived word meaning “knowledge” or “to know”. knowledge is nothing without practiced wisdom self-experience. Thing as well, while we call what we don’t understand yet pseudoscience is still science. I mean all the things we know and experience now was some form of pseudoscience and irrational thinking. Without imagination and dreaming of endless possibilities we wouldn’t have the things we do in this materialistic world. I mean if everything is basically made of water and all living things require good water to survive, and realizing how stress itself puts the body in a state of unpleasantness not just emotionally but physically as well, you would think this study can be very possible. Use your doubt as a tool. Don’t be used by it. Everything was once a thought in the universe. Mystery is what makes life and learning beautiful.

  49. Mumbaki Ak says:

    this is the double-blind study at Science Direct from the ISI-journal EXPLORE-THE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND HEALING:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550830706003272
    “The hypothesis that water “treated” with intention can affect ice crystals formed from that water was pilot tested under double-blind conditions. A group of approximately 2,000 people in Tokyo focused positive intentions toward water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. That group was unaware of similar water samples set aside in a different location as controls. Ice crystals formed from both sets of water samples were blindly identified and photographed by an analyst, and the resulting images were blindly assessed for aesthetic appeal by 100 independent judges. Results indicated that crystals from the treated water were given higher scores for aesthetic appeal than those from the control water (P = .001, one-tailed), lending support to the hypothesis.”

  50. elan star says:

    Dr Emoto has proven himself to be a rude and quite offensive person to both fans and staff memebers of his own. He is not “Blessing” nor “thankful” and is quite haughty.
    We dont sayt aht blessing does not have an effect on biological ssytems we say that his work is nto reproducable and that it has some very disturbing elements that one cannot ignore. I have spent enough time around him and known others who found out that he actually htoographs long chains of time periods of the disintegration of the crustal and cherry picks what he wants to match it as far as the so called influence element.
    Basically he does nto resonate with wht he says…his ego is thorugh the ceiling. Yes by all means bless everything but dont look to Emoto for anything substantial.

  51. Folly Darling says:

    While I like your article and analysis, I believe there is also the intangible –that which we cannot touch or understand but must have faith in. Before I became severely ill with an Inborn Error Of Metabolism that has bsically destroyed my career, I also had the strength is seems to lay hands, absorb negative energies and cast them out for people. Upon becoming ill I could capture but then could not cast out so I had to stop because I was becoming ill.

    I saw Dr. Masaru Emoto in film and have read all of his books. What I chose to purchase then was his deck of Water Crystal Oracle cards. I cannot tell when I started using them. The first time was on an ill relative that had multiple issues –I took applicable cards and intermingled with a picture of said person and then said many many prayers.The person’s cancer disappeared. Since then all my stories are anecdotal. I work with people in critical condition and do the same with each depending on their disease. Each I have been involved in has had a reversal of ill healh. Would it of happened any way..maybe. But some have had quick critical turn arounds.

    I believe it is strong faith, offering of prayers to the universe, having other pray also on say subjects —-concentrated efforts. Again as I say, all is annecdotal and many that doctors said no hope left —well we had faith we could change the world, and the is happy.

    I have a new person that has gone into a coma with a deadly genetic disorder (I have it also). I am starting the process this morning and hopefully the prayer group and healing cards on the person will help. I have blind healing faith.

    We are also going to use the cards on an ailing dog to see if the faith and prayers may work.

    Faith and prayer can be powerful.I have been near death several times and the groups have worked a constant vigil on me. I have been in a coma and family was told I was shutting down and did a 180; my liver only works 5% –I have been told based on that I should be dead; Have had several hyperthermic tonic-clonic seizures where my brain overheats (they do not know what triggers)

    I am here, doing medical research, the oldest helping others in the US that have my genetic diseases and related disorders. Behind me, my husband believes also. We bot believe in Dr. Emoto’s concepts and use the healing cards. If someone lives, I take no credit. I figure it was the universe and God.

  52. Dan says:

    I spoke to Dr. Emoto many years ago (through his interpreter) when he was doing a book tour in St. Peterburg, Florida. He seemed to be a very sincere, friendly person who deeply believes in what he is promoting. He is for real.
    The problem is not in Dr. Emoto or his research, but in the false idea that the scientific method reveals anything other than a circularity. Human experience is the only reality we can experience, there is nothing else, no “real world” of physics out there, quantum or otherwise. We are here with our lives, our loves, our stories. God put us here to do good, and Dr. Emoto is a force for good. His research may never be replicated because it is a work of art that reflects his soul. Modern medicine, like medieval medicine, like Stone Age medicine, works only because of the placebo (I believe) effect. Our beliefs are what create the world we live in. Dr. Emoto demonstrated in his artwork that thoughts/emotions/music can change water….some of still believe in the man who once turned it into wine.

  53. Sam Chiodo says:

    Sometime people need to be told a story to inspire them whether it is true or not does it really matter. Were you inspired by the story before you read this article? If one is willing to change the way the world is for the better of human kind, does it matter if the story may not be verified? when you were a child and you heard about the tooth fairy, or father Christmas, or the Easter bunny, does a child need scientific research to believe? To Dr. Steve Gardner what if someone in your waiting area had picked the book up and read it and then it helped to changes their lives. I make the assumption that you don’t tell your children that the tooth fairy and father Christmas etc are not real. How did you feel when you first heard the story i know i was amazed…and intrigued. Be inspired there are enough critics in the world. Sam

  54. k says:

    science cannot refute OR verify it?
    and yet you conclude it is pseudoscience?

    ok. sure.

  55. Camillo Benso says:

    I am not surprised at all. Japanese have a long experience about KI-QI and energy related words that reflect the way you feel and the way you are. That said, here is the thing: why are scientists discovering stuff by accident? So, don’t make a fuss about it.
    For centuries there is a “blessed water” in Christian Churches. Bottled water is sold at places like Lourdes (France), Fatima (Portugal) and it is supposed to have “miracle” effects. In those who believe it, and guess what: it is all based on prayers! So, I am not
    denying anything and I am not accusing Emoto of false claims. If he says so he takes responsability for it. The fact that water has negative ions that neutralize positive ones (pollution) is a long known fact, in any culture (read waterfalls). We understand now that plant roots are intelligent beings and if so, you bet they look for good water. As to music: it is the “miracle” universal language, it has the ability to create emotions. Keep going…..Masaru.

  56. Pedro Crotto says:

    Double-blind test of the effects of distant intention on water crystal formation, in PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16979104

  57. Sam says:

    Why do you refer to him as “Dr.” when he only has a international relations degree from a municipal school in Yokohama?? It’s deceiving to refer to this guy as a Dr. when he does not have a PHD.

  58. Alexandra says:

    Hallo,

    I found Dr. Emoto through my brother. Unlike my brother, though, I tend to be more sceptical of such “esoteric” matters.
    Scientific methode or no, in my opinion there should be research happening on this, as research has alredy prooven that prair is able to affect healing, which I find very interesting.
    The scientiffic community shouldn´t wait for Dr. Emoto to climb down from his ivory tower and just do a double blind study of the matter.

    Looking out for something like that to happen…

    To the author of this page: Brilliant work, thanks a million!

    Best regards

    Alex

  59. I have done my own research to prove or to disprove Masaru Emoto’s study and research. We have found that not only is Masaru Emoto’s research correct, but wood also holds positive or negative energies of thoughts.

    I believe what may have strongly influenced Kristopher Setchfield’s study was his skepticism and pedantic research. Please note that he does not include any scientific experiments, which is an essential component of scientific research.

    Kathleen

    • Come now, Kathleen, no need to lie to prop up your unsubstantiated beliefs. Just accept that you don’t care about whether what you believe is true or not, because you believe that belief itself makes truth

  60. Rachael says:

    I think words matter, but the frequency and tone they are said in causes an affect. My son is doing his science fair project based on the rice experiment, but with music,not words. He saw that the one that was exposed to a higher decibel molded first. I am definetly not a scientice by any means, but this is what he saw. He wants to see if music can change the levels in blood sugars next. We will see.

  61. Danica says:

    While I realize this comment is made 3 years later, and don’t know if anyone will stumble upon this blog as I have. I’m not going to lie, I was ecstatic when I found Dr. Emoto’s video, and in my research to find further proof, found this blog.

    My experiences in life have led me to believe that we create our reality through our thoughts and feelings, that our world reacts to us depending on how we feel. When I have a negative attitude, the world can not help but reflect it back to me, I will have a bad day, attracting similar like people into my experience. It is as if I am effecting them with my negativity.

    While yes, your article is very substantial in providing scientific “proof”, you did not provide any photos of your research, showing the crystals forming and being affected at different temperatures. If you are going to repeat a scientific experiment in a controlled environment, you should try to repeat it as closely as possible to the original, playing similar music, words, and images. While Emoto’s studies were replicated in a controlled environment, it still was not done in the same fashion as the original – (http://www.deanradin.com/papers/emotoIIproof.pdf)
    But hey, At least this guy provided photos.

    One can argue that we are not vibratory beings, and that our thoughts, emotions and words have no impact on our physical reality – but when you hook up your brain or heart to machines that can read the “waves” that they are sending out, the argument a person has ceases to be based on knowledge, and just turns into plain ignorance.

    Waves of energy. We are emitting an energetic force that can be scientifically measured. I don’t know about you, but I think that in itself is pretty incredible. The fact that I can take an idea from my brain, type it just like so, and have words appear for you to read in the future is mind blowing.

    The mere fact that I am even here, living, breathing, and AWARE, unlike this chair that I am sitting on, that is made up of the same molecules as me, (only configured a wee bit different) makes me think twice about the nature of my reality. But who I am to say that this chair does not have some sort of consciousness. I Really don’t know… .

    “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it”. You are the creator of your reality, until you recognize this, you will always be at the mercy at “external” reality.

  62. Just wanted to mention that while Dr Emoto’s “research” is very far from perfect and deserves the critique from the author as well as commenters, there is a much deeper scientific research done by the Russians.
    For example, here is a 2-hour lecture of prof. Slesarev in Russian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2SH7mofoZ8
    Americans, please learn other languages! Otherwise you always will be left without 75% of the puzzle’s pieces!

  63. Tamati Ihaka says:

    I hate these review papers. When I read the introduction I was excited to see someone give Masaru’s research a try however when I saw “However, after many hours of investigation it became increasingly clear that a superior purpose for this project was to review Mr. Emoto’s procedures” I instantly saw a lazy critique about what we already know. Shame on you. Don’t be lazy and do what you set out to do not just read a bunch of crap and give your opinion.

  64. Xavier J Rodriguez says:

    So you didnt actually attempt the experiments yourself but attempted to discredit his character overall, throwing in the one liner of the fact that he ay have discovered a new branch of science. Still skepticism is a valued tool to an extent.

    The Fact that you Did Not attempt these experiments yourself yet attempted to word this article in such a way as to shy people away from exploring this possible new field “once again which you did not attempt” seems more or less as a form of
    Disinformation in its own right.

  65. I appreciate science when it is used to prove or disprove theories. I’d seen Dr. Emoto’s book, and to find that he had never properly studied the effects, and sells the water, pretty much tells the tale. That being said, there are studies that show prayer can cure people. The studies were done by Richard Davidson at the U of Wisc over 10 years – and he showed that a particular Tibetan meditation can cure or alleviate depression. His study reveals that a single session can affect the amygdala, the repository of depression in the brain. Note that I said prayer cures an illness – it turns out this Tibetan meditation (which he told me is “Tonglen” – “give and take” in Tibetan) is a form of health meditation where a person “prays” or imagines in their mind healing another person of their illness. They do this by “taking and giving” the energy of the illness (imagined as smoke or a color) into themselves, calling upon the “healing light of the universe” to change the illness into healthy energy and breathe it (in their minds) back into the patient. Literally curing yourself of your illness by imagining that you’re curing someone else of theres. There’s no evidence that the prayer helps the other person – but it immediately alters the amygdala in the person doing the prayer or meditation, and can cure depression completely. This is probably why the lecture Davidson gave at UCLA was filled with psychiatrists trying to get teenagers off SSRI drugs (prozac, etc) and their ill side effects (columbine, and every school shooting since has SSRI drugs involved). My point is – don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Dr. Emoto’s work may not prove to be effective in altering water – but by saying a prayer, or doing some kind of work that is selfless and for other humans, can actually cure the person doing the act or prayer of their own mental afflictions. And that’s worth examining (or putting into a pill and selling by big pharma). My two cents.

  66. Al Liu says:

    Emoto’s experiment has been replicated by the Institute of Noetic Sciences who had 2500 independent judges rate the water crystals without knowing what intention they had been subject to. The ones that were intentionally treated were rated as more aesthetically pleasing. http://noetic.org/research/project/effects-distant-intention-water-crystal-formation/

  67. Monica says:

    Dear Kristopher,

    This is a thorough investigation of Mr. Emoto’s work. I was wondering how he got his images too. Yes, you are right that between -25 and -5 deg. C you start seeing columns of ice.
    Great job and thank you from all of us!

  68. Dee says:

    Hi,
    Could you email me about using your article in a non-profit textbook in India?
    Dee Broughton

  69. Queen says:

    I don’t put any merit in anyone who cannot edit their words properly and deliver with proper grammar and punctuation.

  70. C says:

    Aren’t you asking for donations so you can test Emoto’s claims, rather than to disprove them..?

    • Emoto Admin says:

      Hi C, That’s basically right. If enough people want me to test Emoto’s claims scientifically by funding the research to be done properly, then I will do it. I have the flexibility and resources to be able to put together the lab and do it right, but I won’t do it without being properly funded, and I won’t do it out of pocket. I myself did not find evidence in Emoto’s published work to convince me that he did anything other than just write what he wanted people to believe. However, I do believe that thoughts and intentions have power, and I would like to test that using Emoto’s example “work” with water as the platform, but do it in a double blind, full transparency way.
      Kristopher

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