The Secret Life of Water and Masaru Emoto

Masaru Emoto is a Japanese writer and photographer. He published six books, including The Secret Life of Water, that shows consciousness affects the structure of water and ice.

In The Secret Life of Water, 1 Emoto describes his methodology. Emoto takes a sample of water and distributes amongst 50 petri dishes. The water is then frozen following a prescribed procedure. Emoto then assigns a number ranging from 1 to 8 that describes the beauty of the resulting crystal formation. From the 50 petri dishes, Emoto chooses one that he feels best describes the attribute being investigated.

I admit that the selection process is not strictly in accordance with the scientific method, and the whim of the person doing the selecting certainly comes into play. When making the selection for a collection of crystal photographs, it is best if one person chooses all the photographs for consistency, which is why all the photographs in this book were selected by me.

He writes that his procedures are “not in strict accordance with the scientific method”. This is an optimistic assessment. It is simply not a valid way of selecting a representative sample. It is obvious that there is not a representative sample to select. Every sample is unique.

Emoto gives an example of how this works. He collected two samples of water: one from a polluted part of the Honmyo River near where it reaches the Ariake Sea and another from the pristine waters near its source.

Below are the results.

Crystal TypePristine
1. Beautiful20
2. Rather beautiful40
3. Hexagonal pattern00
4. Radial pattern42
5. Lattice pattern86
6. Indefinite pattern2929
7. Collapsed pattern32
8. No crystal formation011

As Emoto states:

In this case, we chose a beautiful crystal to represent the sample [of pristine water]. Of course, there were only two beautiful crystals in the sample of fifty.

He states the the water has the potential to form beautiful crystals so this is why he chose one of the only two beautiful crystal samples to represent the pristine waters. There were 32 samples that were labelled Indefinite or Collapsed pattern. He chose an Indefinite pattern sample to represent the polluted water. There was the same number of Indefinite samples from both the polluted water and the pristine water.

Ice crystals need a “seed” to start growing. Distilled water will not create ice crystals. The number of samples in the 8th category is not relevant.

Whilst there is no doubt about Emoto’s passion for his subject, by his own admission, “photographing crystals is a subjective science”.

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  1. Emoto, M. (2005) The Secret Life of Water. New York: Atria Paperbacks.

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