Over the years, there have been many claims made about water, ranging from the mundane and ordinary to the bizarre and somewhat ludicrous. A concept that many people have difficulty understanding is a concept known as homeopathy, or the idea of water having a "memory" of sorts. While homeopathy has yet to be accepted by the majority of the scientific community, further hypotheses have been formulated pertaining to the capabilities of water. The latest of these "out-there" claims is that water is conscious and has feelings, and will appropriately react to outside stimuli in a very visual and comprehensive manner. This claim is a subcategory of a broader field of study, known as "Hado."

The study of Hado was first explored by Dr. Masaru Emoto. Dr. Emoto was born in Yokohama prefecture in July of 1943. He attended Yokohama Municipal University, where he focused his study on International Relations. Then, in 1992, Dr. Emoto earned a Doctor of Alternative Medicine certificate from The Open International University, and was first introduced to micro cluster water. This served as the catalyst to his obsession with the "mysteries" of water, and invention of the Hado school of thought, pertaining to consciousness. Hado is a Japanese word that means "wave", or "move," but the official definition of Hado, as used by Dr. Emoto for his purposes, is: "the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness."

As Dr. Emoto explains on the official Hado website, the above definition essentially means that everything emits an attitude, or aura, and this affects the things around it. What's more, external stimuli can affect the vibration of certain entities, and thereby change the mood of those entities. Examples of such stimuli are music or spoken or written words.

This may seem like a very basic concept when applied to humans. For example, when someone compliments something you've done, or says a few kind words to you, you feel good about yourself, and you are happy. On the other hand, if you are insulted or offended, you may become disagreeable, and otherwise unpleasant to be around. Common sense, right? Well, Dr. Emoto applied this same concept to water, where he would place a sample of water in a container, and then tape a piece of paper to the container with kind words like "Love," or "Appreciation" written on them. When crystallized, the water in the container then formed beautiful snowflake-like crystals (viewed at 20,000 x magnification). Then, in another container of water from the same source, he placed a piece of paper with "You make me sick, I will kill you" written on it. The resultant crystalline form was distorted and visually displeasing. Further tests have been conducted using music instead of writing. Dr. Emoto played Mozart's "Symphony No. 40 in G Minor" to a sample of water, and found that "pretty" crystals formed when the water was frozen. Similar musical tests were conducted using "Tibet Sutra" and Bach's "Air for the G String," all of which were met with similar appealing results. In another experiment, two jars with a small amount of cooked rice were sealed, and labeled with messages, one positive ("Thank You") and one negative ("You Fool"), and had these messages spoken to them by children everyday for one month. After the duration of the experiment, the jar of rice that was influenced positively grew a bright, colorful orange mold, while the other "abused" jar of rice was covered in a drab, brown mold. This experiment was done with the hopes of proving that microbes are conscious entities, and can process varying emotional variables. Based on the results, Dr. Emoto and his team concluded that microbes are indeed conscious of their surroundings.

Skeptics may argue that these formations are nothing more than a fluke, and it is to be expected that there be variation between crystalline formations. After all, every school child could attest to this fact, for it is common knowledge that no two snowflakes are alike. What's more, there isn't any hard scientific evidence supporting the experiment of writing words on test tubes, to affect the formation of water crystals. As for the rice experiment, there are a variety of excuses for why the results were as they were, ranging from possible residue material inside the jars to environmental differences (temperature, etc.). Hado, like homeopathy in this respect, will likely never satisfy the mainstream scientific community until it can overcome testing objections, such as these.

Dr. Emoto's latest endeavor, using the basic ideas of Hado, is to purify the water of the world, in a program called "Love & Thanks to Water." The plan behind this project is to show our appreciation for large bodies of water, by telling it just how much we love and need it, which should, in turn, purify the bodies of water being praised, in a manner a lot like the samples of water used in Dr. Emoto's previous experiments on water crystallization. For this, the World Day of Love and Thanks to Water has been established, and was first celebrated on July 25, 2003. On that day, large masses of people were gathered at Lake Kinneret (The Sea of Galilee), in Israel, Lake Deininger Weiher, in Germany, and Lake Biwa, in Japan, and expressed their heartfelt feelings for the bodies of water. This international effort was considered a success, and is to be repeated every July 25th.

For further information on this topic, Dr. Emoto has written a book, titled "Messages From Water," that deals specifically with this water phenomenon. As to whether or not Hado is a valid hypothesis, with practical application, only time and countless experiments and solid scientific conclusions can tell. Despite that, a lot can be learned from the underlying message presented through Hado: positive thinking is a healthy and beneficial practice. That is a fact that cannot be refuted.