Dowsing rods are most commonly known for their ability to locate sources of water beneath the surface of the ground. Typically, the person holding the rods walks along a piece of ground while loosely holding one end of the rod (or rods) in each hand.
If the dowser is using a Y-shaped rod, the single end of the rod will point down when it locates a source of water. If the dowser is using two L-shaped rods, the ends of each rod will come together when a water source is located. It is believed that somehow, the rods are picking up on the energy of the underground material.
In addition to being able to locate underground water, people also make use of dowsing rods to locate underground metals, ores, gemstones, oil deposits, and even unmarked gravesites.
There does not appear to be any scientific evidence that proves the practice of dowsing actually works as advertised. Sometimes dowsers locate what they are searching for, and sometimes they don’t. The question is whether anyone would have the same rate of success just by walking across the ground and choosing a particular spot just because they got a feeling. Skeptics believe that dowsing rods only move due to accidental or involuntary movements of the user.