Debunking Masaru Emoto- Messages from Water

By william on 10:58 AM

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I believe many of you have heard about Masaru Emoto's findings regarding messages from water. This post would show my take on why his claims are vague and cannot be considered legitimate.

Masaru Emoto – Messages from Water
Name: Masaru Emoto
DOB: July 22, 1943.
Occupation: Writer
Education: Yokohama Municipal University, Open International University for Alternative Medicine (unaccredited)

Masaru Emoto’s Research

Masaru Emoto is the author of Messages from Water. He has documented in this book his discovery of the formation of water crystals through the influence of human speech, thoughts, prayers, songs and even pictures.

Before prayer ----------------------After prayer

Heavy metal music-------------------"Thank you"

Why Emoto is a Psuedo Scientist
Now Emoto’s work is pretty incredible, isn’t it? Amazing as it might sound, I think there are too many problems and loop holes in his research to quantify his claims as legitimate. And I’m not the only one. Scientists do not recognize Emoto’s work as authentic due to many reasons.

First of all, let us look at Emoto’s credentials. He graduated from an unaccredited institution. As much as this doesn’t support the fact that he isn’t credible, I think we should keep this in mind as we move along.
Next, let us look at Emoto’s occupation. A writer. Hmm. He had no scientific background and he did not conduct his experiments in certain necessary conditions. His research and experiments had insufficient experimental controls, and double-blind trials were not conducted. What this means is, the photographers knew what they were looking for when the snapped the pictures of the crystals, and Emoto explained that the creativity of the photographers was valued more than the rigor of the experiments.

According to an interview with John 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.” This statement alone is enough to dub Emoto as a pseudo scientist. He was not educated in the scientific community, and I believe that together with his artistic view of things in general, his “research” was made biased through the many mistakes committed.

Here are some of the mistakes made by Emoto:
1) He did not take into account of the effects physical phenomenons would have on the formation of the water crystals. Numerous environmental factors such as the most fundamental of all – temperature and humidity were not considered in his research. Factors like these would have substantial impact on the results of his study but Emoto did not conduct procedures to control them.

2) The Petri dishes used to contain the water samples were not sealed. The implication is that the samples used in his experiments could easily be contaminated by the environment or even the researcher himself. One good example would be that the photographer’s breath could affect the warming rate of the frozen samples, thereby affecting the temperature of the crystal formations. This implies that the beautiful crystals formed through “positive words” could have been mere coincidence.
3) Emoto indicated that his water samples were frozen at 25°C, and his crystals were formed at -5°C. According to the morphology diagram of ice crystal formation (Libbrecht), column crystals should be formed instead of plate crystals, yet none of Emoto’s pictures show a column crystal. Could Emoto have fabricated his findings? Let’s put it this way – he has no supportive data to back his claims.

4) Emoto has mentioned that in every test he would photograph 100 Petri dish samples, yet only one of each test was provided to the public. What if the other 99 went against his hypothesis? He has successfully prevented the media from uncovering the photos which did not support his research.
There was a lack of blind and double-blind procedures in Emoto’s experiments. Emoto believed that “the researcher’s aesthetic sense and character is the most important aspect when taking crystal photographs.” Let me rephrase this- The researcher photographs whatever supports his claims. An example of how Emoto could have added more credibility to his findings would be letting the photographers snap the pictures without first knowing what samples the Petri dishes contained. In this way, the photographer is “blind” and does not know what he’s looking for. Sadly, this crucial trial was ignored by Emoto.

Masaru Emoto would continue to be ignored by the scientific community if he does not prove his claims with better experimental controls, or disclose his methods to other scientist to allow further research. The lack of scientific evidence has ruled his findings as pseudo science, but I think he makes a good science fiction writer. I’d be first in line if he publishes his first science fiction novel.

As much as I shun Emoto’s dubious scientific claims, I have to say that he started his research work with a good cause. And I believe it is very true that whatever you say and think affect the people around you. No doubt about that, but Emoto’s research would only make a good bedtime read till he can further prove his claims.

40 comments for this post


wow.. black text on a black background.. am I really not seeing this?

Posted on March 30, 2009 at 4:56 PM  

Mee too..

It's probably to hide from Masaru Emoto suporters. :-)

Posted on May 14, 2009 at 6:44 PM  

I think it would be great if someone would attempt to recreate these experiments with truly scientific methods. Maybe they have and the results were not interesting, so I haven't heard about it.

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

When you have made the assumption thatMasaru research is not scientific (his work is from 1992) have you look at other work in this domain? as you publish this in 2008!!! Guess you shoul now about David Sereda research in feb 2008 with Saida Medvedeva but also about Professor Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who won the Nobel prize for discovering a link between HIV and AIDS, has shocked fellow Nobel prize-winners by telling them that water has a memory that continues even after many dilutions and also about quantum physics but I do understand that it is hard to understand by You, Mr William :)

Posted on January 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM  

So heres the thing, I've a little research into this for school papers and am actually working on a speech about this for one of my classes. I just wanted to point out that though his experments are poorly done and I dont fully agree with them, the concept of it is intersting. Because, in truth water might very well be reacting to our intentions.Just look at humans, we are made up of 90 to 94 percent of water. What we say do and think has huge impacts on us. just something to think of!

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 1:32 AM  
Ben the Bear

Thank u for trying to debunk and failing.

He mentioned that out of 100, the majority did not form beautiful crystals, just ordinary ones for the positive vibes and he took only the nice ones. Naturally, he had to choose from those for viewing.

For the negative vibes, they did not even form crystals for most and some showed ugly unexplained forms.

Posted on November 14, 2011 at 1:09 PM  

Expose the water to a word shared by two languages - a homophone or homograph, and choose a word that has a positive meaning in one language, and negative in the other.

How does the water choose which "vibration" to pick up on? What if the person writing (or copying) the word has no idea what the word means - how does the water know if it was meant with positive (good word) or negative (bad word) intent?

Same goes for using slang, such as "bad" - which can mean the exact opposite. How does the water "hear" the intended vibrations (good or bad) if a third party (who didn't see the word) affixes the label (covered so as to not expose the word) to the water container?

I believe PT Barnum was correct... there's a sucker born every minute.

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM  

Mr. Payne...there is a spiritual connection between water and humankind's inner intent- whether collectively or individually experienced at any given time. One doesn't have to believe that gravity exists at all, but their perspective about it is irrelevant to the fact that gravity exists. There is too much evidence science has not deemed important enough to fund / capture / document / record which proves the connection between the elements in general and native indigenous peoples. How far in a quest for peace do you think one should go to seed understanding when the person in need starts off standing where you're at about the whole thing? Is it worth to go in after your spirit when you start off so resistant?

I say yes. To the degree, to the degree. Conversion is awesome in a case like this, and you, my dear, are very much worth it.

Shall we?

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 5:15 AM  

These are highly valid points. Did you re-run the experiment using the appropriate controls (sealed dishes, temperature control, etc)? What were your findings?

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 5:43 PM  

Most whiners and people who set up mental blocks when faced with life changing information try to use science as their weapon, however I've come to find that 99% of people like this are only putting up a front and never actually do any real science themselves to prove the issues they are claiming. For those who actually did some type of experiment like the rice hado experiment, we know there is more to this than they want us to know about. So stop bitching and actually show us what type of science you did to prove otherwise. If you are going to harass someone's work then do it with something to show, not just a whiney complaint. I have seen a debunking video that doesn't even show in the film labeled jars, and doesn't show what human message was given if at all, in other words it looked like he just left 2 identical jars there and expected different results from doing nothing himself, idiot....

Posted on July 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM  

I agree that this is a debunk fail. He has a doctors degree in alternative medicine and if you know ANYTHING about alternative medicine its that its NATURAL. The "science" they try to teach us nowadays is totally against natures way. Other than that the U.N. has backed up Dr. Emoto as well in the scientific area along with admitted cures and accurate data from varies scientists.

Posted on September 9, 2013 at 12:17 PM  

The reactions to criticisms of this work has demonstrated that the vast majority of people are very, very easy to lie to, and that they actually prefer to be lied to because it makes them feel better about some aspect of their lives.

If you want to be the sort of person who questions things, then you can't just go halfway with it. You have to question the things that you'd very much like to be true. If you don't, then you don't actually have an open mind, no matter what you tell yourself, because you've closed yourself off to the possibility of being wrong.

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 1:34 AM  

as to conduct a scientific experiment,one must follow certain strict steps of method in order to make the results as non-bias as possible.

What Lew Payne posted here have given me a question.

If we look at the water with heavy metal music influence,it carries a distorted pattern.meaning it brings negativity.

BUT,what if the heavy metal song carries a very positive meaning?what will this create?

How about a soothing classical song or a lullaby but with extremely offensive vulgar sentences?

Anyway,I do agree on the notion that an experiment must be pure and unbiased through the application of strict methodology.

Scientist must speak and work on and for the truth,not for what they want to believe or perceive.if the result does not favour their conviction,just reveal the truth.

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 4:13 AM  

You can do you own experiment with rice, look up "rice experiment" on YouTube and see everyone else's "evidence". You cook some rice and divide it into identical containers and label one "love" and one "hate" - keep them in the same room and see what happens. How do you explain that?

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:29 PM  

Lew and Adzakael - if you tried heavy metal with a positive message or tried to "trick" the water using a pretty sounding lullaby with evil words I don't believe that would work. And it doesn't matter what language it's in. It's not the words or the's the vibrational frequency and intention. Anything good will vibrate at a higher frequency. Lew thinks the "believers" are suckers but the "believers" think you are close minded or unenlightened.

Posted on March 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM  

I don't think the author is discounting the possibility that Masaru Emoto could be right, he's just arguing that his methods are questionable and thus his results do not confirm or deny his hypothesis. The scientific method has many limitations, but one of its major strengths is that it provides a rigorous, reliable method for testing the validity of empirical claims; so reliable, in fact, that it is the overwhelmingly dominant method of testing such claims and expanding human knowledge about the world of the senses.

Masaru Emoto has made an empirical claim, yet he eschews the scientific method in favor of a more intuitive, yet ultimately less rigorous and thus less reliable method. You don't need to be "closed-minded" to reject Emoto's conclusions. You simply need to realize the simple fact that an empirical claim (e.g., "x causes y") is meaningless if it does not correspond to reality in any way (e.g., x does not cause y "out there"). And without testing according to the scientific method, it is not possible to know with any real degree of certainty that an empirical claim does or does not correspond to reality.

That all being said, I'm sure a lot of people believe Emoto's claims on a spiritual level. This has to be distinguished from scientific knowledge, however. Science makes no claim to study metaphysical questions about belief and spirituality; this is one of the limitations of the scientific method. Science only concerns itself with the physical world. It is strongly grounded on empirical observation and falsifiability, while spiritual beliefs are inherently unfalsifiable and based on personal idiosyncrasies.

Notwithstanding all that, Emoto's claims are implausible, and I doubt many scientists would bother exploring any of his claims concerning intentions for this reason. Resources are scarce.

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 7:04 AM  

in his experiments he has emphasised that good words have to be spoken with faith . saying good words without conviction brings u to no where . Also , there are many mystery and ancient religions who use prayer and thoughts on water and give it to patients who recover , so its not a new thing what Mr emoto is doing .

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 5:41 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Posted on April 29, 2014 at 12:24 AM  

Anyone who has a grasp of science cannot take Emoto's finding as proof of anything. Without even going into specifics, scientific theories require rigorous proof. This proof is acquired through controlled, repeatable experiments. If any of those experiments do not verify the theory it is not proven. In that case the theory must be discarded or the reason for the discrepancy in observation must be explained, eliminated and the tests repeated.
No such scientific rigor has been applied to Emoto's experiments.

Believing in the result without scientific proof, is faith, not science.

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 12:28 AM  

1. "in his experiments he has emphasised that good words have to be spoken with faith . saying good words without conviction brings u to no where." Perfect loophole. Now, if someone else does the experiment and it doesn't produce his results, he can simply dismiss that by saying they didn't speak the words with enough "faith".

2. "Science makes no claim to study metaphysical questions about belief and spirituality; this is one of the limitations of the scientific method." Surely that's a strength, not a limitation.

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 12:41 AM  

Thanks for sharing your opinions on this blog, William. According to your reasoning, Leonardo da Vinci is also a pseudoscientist. Right? And we cannot trust any of his research because he was much too artistic. Right? And also because he didn't have any of the proper modern scientific controls. Right? And neither did most scientists in the past so they should be all discredited. Right?

Posted on June 7, 2014 at 4:58 AM  

I agree, there was little of the scientific method at play here. I also agree that to study under more controlled conditions could prove very interesting. Check this out, they are trying to rais the funds right now to do just that!

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 4:03 AM  

Until a scientist comes in and says "Yah, i approve this..." Then they all say its gospel truth. The bottom line is that most claiming to even speak in the name of science are playing the "Be on the winning team" game. I don't know about you but im shaking in my shoes because theres no peer review report. hey heres a great concept-- See if it works! Stop waiting for all these fools to tell you it is or it isn't because even if they did... Ummm. What exactly is their perogative in telling you? I get it. Wait another 100 years so your kids may find out if its true or not. GREAT PLAN.

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 5:26 AM  

did you attempt to re create his experiment? did you remove all instances conceivable by you, to properly improve on his work?

Posted on November 3, 2014 at 2:15 AM  

The reason for controlled, repeatable experiments is so they can be peer reviewed and VERIFIED - or DISPROVED. People asking for PROOF that his experiments failed, don't seem to understand that because he did not use any scientific methods, this is NOT POSSIBLE. Therein lies the problem.

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM  

The problem with the rice experiment is the same as the problem with the water experiment. Because Emoto does not place strict controls on his experiments, he could be contaminating them. One rice container may have not been exposed to bacteria, two may have been. For the naysayers of this "debunking", true debunking is recreating the experiment with strict controls and as a double-blind study, but having said that, how guillable are you? The obvious errors and omissions from Emoto support a written, not tested, debunking.

Posted on February 14, 2015 at 3:58 AM  

Quick Google search, the University's web page: Accredited By IAO, WAUC, United States of America
Membership With UNESCO & UNICEF
And there you have it, it is accredited.

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 9:42 AM  

Quick Google search about the university which you said wasn't accredited. On the first page of the website: Accredited By IAO, WAUC, United States of America
Membership With UNESCO & UNICEF

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 9:48 AM  

...and i am accredited by PSP and THC!!

Result of another quick google search ("iao wauc college accreditation"):

Posted on April 8, 2015 at 9:43 PM  


Posted on May 14, 2015 at 6:37 AM  

If you are going to go out of your way to debunk someone else's claims, then run your own experiment to prove it wrong. Or just go do something better with your time then destroy the beautiful work of a well intentioned man. Quantum Physicists are now proving that none of this may even be real. Our own existence, or what we believe it to be, cannot be proved by the top minds in our world. Get over your self. Science is proving way more esoteric things than this.

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 9:21 AM  

I stopped reading the posts.. Nothing I've seen would justify the blatant nonsense I see against the phenomena. It Still stands ! Why does water react as it does and what effect do we have on each other?

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Posted on March 1, 2016 at 3:56 PM  

some of the great scientists that have all the comments should do some scientific examination and not jus talk about it. science has proven that we affect plants animals and many other things by verbage, tone inflections and again I ask why not wateru. I would like to see anonomouses credentials. If one out of a 1000 was affected the hypothesis was corret even if the procedure is flawed.

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Posted on March 25, 2016 at 12:22 AM  

Well sir after reading your views on his experiments I would rather believe him than you. He may not have conducted his experiments as you described, and this may have been intentional. The bottom line is that these experiments have been done by many qualified scientist and found to have merit as for your efforts you have not provided any clear evidence that these are wrong as by your description of crystals at the head of this page you have place the wrong words in your statement of effect of music on the crystals e.g. you stated heavy metal music when the music was classical so I give you minus 1 for you attempts.
There is one other way to look at this If he is wrong is there a better way to live that you know off.

Posted on April 4, 2016 at 2:03 PM  

Before any living being engages with another living being a dichotomy as a neural switch is present to either engage with agenda of "love" or "not love". Mr. Emoto's engaged the many many people with "love" and he proceeded with scientific protocol serving to propagate "love" to those he engaged. Mr. William here has attempted to engage others with gesture of "not love". He further presents an argument that serves to promote "not love" to those that he engages. I choose who, what and how to be engaged and I try always to choose "love" and I will explore further Mr. Emoto's research to better propagate "love" to those I engage in possibly a more scientific and reproducible manner. After all, I live a life of "love". Who the heck wishes a life of "no love" upon himself.

Posted on April 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM