The Hidden Messages in Water

The Hidden Messages in Water is a 2005 New York Times Bestseller[1] book, written by Masaru Emoto advancing the pseudoscientific idea that the molecular structure of water is changed by the presence of human consciousness nearby,[2] backed by "exhaustive and wildly unscientific research"[3] claiming to back this conjecture.

The Hidden Messages in Water
The hidden message in water.png
AuthorMasaru Emoto
CountryUnited States
GenreBody Mind & Spirit; Pseudoscience
PublisherBeyond Words Pub.
Publication date
Media typePrint


Harriet Hall wrote in the Skeptical Inquirer that the book "holds a place of honor on my bookshelves as the worst book I have ever read. It is about as scientific as Alice in Wonderland. Emoto took pictures of snowflakes and “observed” that clean water made prettier crystals."[2] Biochemist William Reville, a professor of biochemistry at University College Cork writing in the Irish Times, dismisses the claims as pseudoscience: "an amalgam of science and mumbo-jumbo, there is no credible hypothesis as to causation, no development of the idea, no fruitfulness in the concept, and, above all, no clear scientific demonstration".[4] "It is very unlikely that there is any reality behind Emoto's claims. A triple blind study of these claims failed to show any effect. Also, the phenomenon he describes has never been published in a peer reviewed science journal, which almost certainly means that the effect cannot be demonstrated under controlled conditions."[4]

On the book becoming a New York Times Bestseller, literary critic Dwight Garner wrote in The New York Times Book Review that "it was one of those 'head-scratchers' that made him question the sanity of the reading public."[5]

Physicist Kenneth Libbrecht, an expert on snow, suggested the possibility of confirmation bias, noting that "it's good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out!"[6]


  1. ^ Garner, Dwight (13 March 2005). "Inside the list". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Hall, Harriet (2007-11-01). "Masaru Emoto's Wonderful World of Water". Skeptical Inquirer.
  3. ^ Huppke, Rex W. "Does water have feelings? Paltrow says it does". Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The pseudoscience of creating beautiful (or ugly) water". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  5. ^ Previch, Chad (January 21, 2006). "Want rain? It's all in the brain, expert says". ProQuest 463050722. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Matthews, Dylan (3 June 2014). "Gwyneth Paltrow thinks water has feelings". Vox. Retrieved 14 April 2020.

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