Can Water Remember?

“Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine,
it is stranger than we can imagine.”

Anonymous

“Memory” by Gheorghe Zamfir

 

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen
if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water.
Don’t sit this one out. Do something.
You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment
in the history of our planet.”
Carl Sagan

Not so many years ago, the front page of a national newspaper brought news of an outspoken attack by the head of the NHS on the homeopathy industry. It reminded me of previous research. In 1988 the French immunologist Jacques Benveniste published a paper that stirred up a great deal of interest and even greater controversy. His claim was that if something is dissolved in water, then diluted so many times that not even a single molecule of the original substance remains, the water still retains a ‘memory’ of it having been there. His point was that the configuration of the molecules of water is ‘biologically active’ in a way that makes it change when something is dissolved in it and retain that change after dilution. This theory aroused intense debate between the devotees of homeopathy and the non-believers.

LucMontagnier

The attempts at the repetition of the experiment were unsuccessful and the topic of ‘water memory’ was forgotten until research conducted by the Nobel Prize winner virologist Luc Montagnier in 2010. Montagnier’s experiment proved that bacterial DNA dissolved in water created electromagnetic signals from which the entire DNA sequence could be obtained. However, he stated that his result indicated that water may contain an information storage-and-retrieval property but that one ‘cannot extrapolate it to the products used in homeopathy.’ Attempts to replicate his experiments were not successful.

Eternal Echoes” by John Barry

Thinking of water on a larger scale brings the question: where does the Earth’s water come from? In the beginning, the heat of the new planet would not have sustained any water on the surface. Later on, water might have been deposited by collision with comets and asteroids. In 2007 Japanese scientists suggested that early on the Earth had a great deal of hydrogen in its atmosphere, and this reacted with oxides in the Earth’s mantle to form water. The heavy hydrogen cloud, the scientists thought, could explain why the Earth’s orbit around the Sun changed from an original elliptical shape as predicted by theory into the almost circular path that is today.

Some thoughts about the origins of oceans:

In 2009 NASA crashed a lunar satellite into a crater on the Moon and found to their surprise that there were signs of significant quantities of water there. The same question – where did it come from – could be explained by many suggestions: comets, asteroids, gases from the Moon’s interior or grains of ice carried by intergalactic clouds. As there is no irrefutable answer at the present, one can only think that the water could have come from anywhere, even from Earth.

There is one question that we know the answer to and this is: what is so special about water? When two positively charged ions of hydrogen attach themselves to one negatively charged ion of oxygen to form a molecule of water, one factor that keeps the molecules together is called a hydrogen bond, which is the attractive force of the opposite charges. Renowned scientist, William Hartston, explains the process: ‘Much of what we identify as the unusual properties of water seems to be dependent on the nature of the hydrogen bond: the fact that so many substances dissolve in water; the fact that water expands as it freezes; the surface tension of water. Life as we know it would be impossible without these special properties. Just think of the watery origins of life. If ice were heavier than water, it would sink to the bottom, leaving liquid water at the top to freeze and sink again, until all life was extinguished from any body of water in sub-zero conditions. As it is, a layer of ice stays at the top, insulating the rest of the lake and allowing life to go on. And most of the salts and other chemicals that have led to the development of life have relied on water’s solvent properties to get where they need to go. Water is one of the most commonly encountered yet most unusual and least understood chemical compounds on Earth, and most of this seems to be due to the strange properties of the hydrogen bond.’

Water is something that humanity has cherished since the beginning of history. It provides sustenance, comfort, and refreshment to everyone, yet it means something different to many; from fonts for holy water in Christian cathedrals, through to a sacred spring at Delphi in Greece, the reflecting pools of India’s Taj Mahal, and China’s rice fields, the reservoirs that surround Angkor Wat in Cambodia, symbolizing the primordial waters of the universe, and the life-giving floods of the River Nile in Egypt. Water is the very essence of life. In the sixth century B.C.E., the Taoist philosopher Lao-tzu wrote in his Tao Te Ching, ‘Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard, the gentle overcomes the rigid.’

The lives of ancient Egyptians were strongly linked to the Nile and to the land that flourished because of the yearly flood, the event that went back centuries before the existence of the first rulers of the Lower and Upper Egypt. The Egyptian pharaohs ruled over an agrarian kingdom, where everyone had strong ties to their ancestral villages. What the villages had grown, their labour and their taxes built pyramids and temples, and when there was a drought in about 2200B.C.E. Egypt fell apart for more than a hundred years. In response, the later pharaohs built many granaries and installed large-scale irrigation works in places like the Fayum Depression, to the west of the Nile. An army of officials was now supervising canal maintenance and harvests, for careful water management meant the difference between famine and plenty. The ancient Egyptians believed that their world had three basic elements: earth, sun, and water. Their god Atum, ‘the completed one’, the Creator emerged from a watery chaos. He caused ‘the first moment’, raising a mound of solid earth above the waters. Then the life-giving force of the sun, Re, rose over the land to cause the rest of creation. The pharaohs believed that life-giving waters of the Nile came from a subterranean stream that flowed in the underworld.

AtunGod

“River Flows In You” by Yiruma (courtesy of Nathan Wu)

Invariably, water was regarded as a gift from the gods. The book of Revelation, in the New Testament, speaks of the ‘angel of the river of the water of life’, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God. Water enjoyed sacred properties in many ancient societies, as the source of life. We can live for a short time without food but not without water. The Holy Quran states many times that ‘with water, we make all living things.’  Other clans had a saying: ‘Whoever has a channel has a wife’, as women would want water to grow crops.

Etude No.1 (Waterfall) Opus 10 by Chopin:

Many countries, including ancient Greece, used water-rich karst formations to provide reliable water supplies for agricultural and domestic use. Karst is a topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems, sinkholes, and caves. The Romans used this knowledge to create aqueducts, an architectural masterpiece. They used the water not only for domestic use but also for the famous public baths. In England they installed spectacular public baths,  that gave the name to the town that grew around it.

Human-dug tunnels that tapped groundwater would be used to create cities, towns, and villages around them, from Iran to the Andes. In China, eighteenth-century Qing Dynasty officials paid thousands of labourers to dig canals that brought mountain water to lowland fields. Water was also used for transport and voyaging across lakes, rivers and across the ocean. Until the domestication of the camel in the first millennium B.C.E., waterways, especially major rivers like the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Nile, and the Yangtze, provided much better ways of traveling than on foot or by horse. It could be said that irrigation was a prime cause of civilization.

PontDuGard

The invention of aqueducts transformed the lives of Etruscans and the ancient Greeks. But aqueducts only become a perfect form of art after the Romans took the existing simple version and turned the aqueducts into Aquae Romae, an enduring symbol of Rome’s power and technical prowess. Wherever Rome went, aqueducts went, too.  Over much of Europe, and the Mediterranean, they survive as permanent reminders of Rome’s imperial might.  The Romans were proud of their first Aqua Appia, which brought water to Rome in 312 B.C.E.  Sextus Julius Frontinus said of Roman aqueducts, ‘With such an array of indispensable structures carrying so many waters, compare, if you will, the idle Pyramids or the useless, though famous, works of Greeks!’

Water features prominently in Hindu sacred texts, known as Vedas, and refers to the time when the earth was all water without light:

Those waters from the heavens,
Or those waters that flow when dug,
Or even those waters that are self-born,
Flowing towards the ocean, purifying,
May those waters, Oh Goddess,
Protect us here.

The deeply held respect for water and a tradition of water management goes back to the beginning of Indian civilization. In China, mighty rivers were controlled by dams, large-scale irrigations and many tunnels that would prevent floods. In Europe, water mills provided bread, the main part of our staple diet.

DutchWatermill

Below is the Krishna River in India

Below is the Yangtze River in China:

YangtzeRiver

“L’Ascension” by Michel Pépé:

Recently, scientists discovered in a 2014 study a massive ocean about 700 kilometres below the Earth’s surface containing around three times as much water as all the seas and oceans we can see. The finding poses a new question of where the Earth’s oceans came from and how they stayed the same size for millions of years. The investigation, however, only relates to water beneath the United States. It could extend all the way around the planet occupying a region between the upper and lower parts of the Earth’s mantle. The total amount of water down there could easily be enough to submerge the planet if it were on the surface.

In present times it is clear that catastrophic climate changes are now affecting our relationship with water in many places in the world such as the recent terrible flooding in New York as well as in India and Spain, Storm Ida in Louisiana, and wildfires in southern Europe, California and Tunisia. There are places in Asia that are in acute danger of many villages being destroyed by rising sea levels, while parts of Australia have suffered recently from droughts and hot temperatures that wiped out wildlife.

WildifeFireCalifornia

In California, forests burned on an unprecedented scale because of unusually hot temperatures and winds that spread the flames which have destroyed towns like Paradise. The speed of those changes is the result of our actions.

The town of Paradise before the wildfire:

ParadiseBeforeFire

The town of Paradise after the wildfire:

ParadiseAfterFire

A couple of years ago or so, hundreds of koalas perished in a huge wildfire in New South Wales in Australia. Staff at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital searched for survivors after the fire destroyed 4,900 acres of bush. Two-thirds of the damaged area was koala habitat, according to the hospital president Sue Ashton. She added: ‘If we look at a 50 percent survival rate, that’s around about 350 koalas and that’s absolutely devastating.’ Koalas climb high into trees during wildfires and survive if the fire front passes quickly below them. The koala colony was particularly healthy and genetically diverse, Miss Ashton said. The fire was started by a lightning strike, 190 miles north of Sydney. Australia’s wildfire season made an early and devastating start that year, due to above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall. I wrote in another post, ‘The Knights of the Night’ about thousands of bats dying in the south-eastern part of Australia, and I have asked the pertinent question: are we all aware that when we destroy Earth, it will be too late to then realise that we cannot eat money or cement?

BabyBat

KoalaBear

“We All Fall Like Rain” (from the film “Secret of Water”)

 

David Attenborough’s closing speech from “Blue Planet II”:

“Baby Blue” from “Our Planet” original soundtrack:

 

 

45 thoughts on “Can Water Remember?

  1. Dear Joanna, this is an amazing post! Everything expressed here refreshes us, and the music too! Water, we were born in it, made of it, and can’t live without it! I’m drinking a glass as I write this. I raise my glass to honour you! Have a great weekend! 😍💐💖💐💝🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Ashley, your comments are wonderful!! How can I thank you?!!

    Great weekend to you too!!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated,

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This article is so pleasing with beautiful pictures mixed with melodious music as Always dear Joanna. The story or historical connection of water with the human and earth is just beautiful.How amazing to imagine such curious questions arising in mind? Finding answers is miraculous as well as mysterious on all these universal facts. Your patience and precious time spending researching so precisely is truely lovable ❤🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Suma, thank you for your beautiful comments!! Reading such an appraisal justifies any time spent on researching and writing my post!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My pleasant pleasure Joanna ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Water is truly the very essence of life. Without it, we would definitely not survive. It’s amazing how much thought has gone into the creation of the world. It’s sad that our actions are bringing about so much damage. If our actions destroy the planet and our habitat, money and concrete jungles are worthless. This was such an interesting and informative post, Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you, Shweta, for your generous comments! You are right, we must change or we will perish.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very nice informative for earth, environmental, water of historical knowledgeable post. Beautiful natural photos. Save water, Save environment.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, we save water when possible.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This post is again based on my favourite subject. It’s a well researched post, Joanna. The beginning with Carl Sagan’s quote..you are by accident of fate alive..is brilliant. The title itself is captivating. You have rightly stated that DNAs dissolved in water create electromagnetic signals.

    I loved the reference to Taj Mahal and sacred texts of Indian civilization. Though Egyptians believed in 3 basic elements, Indians believe in 5 i.e. earth, water, fire, wind and sky, and all are worshipped as either God or Goddess. God of water is called Varuna. Water has been given due importance from the very beginning and therefore all ancient cities had been developed on the banks of one river or the other.

    We believe in ‘Jal hi jeevan hai’, i.e. water is life. In villages people used to marry off their daughters preferably in a village that has a pond. But unfortunately, due to large scale deforestation, every year we encounter natural calamities like famine and flood. In this context, your concluding lines..it will be too late..are too appropriate.

    The information on Roman aqueducts, Kaola clan and massive ocean below the earth’s surface is interesting and new to me. As usual, beautiful pics and amazing videos adorn this post too like gems. Thank you so much, Joanna for one more enlightening post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, Kaushal, for your wonderful comments, and for the added information that I love to learn about!
    In my posts about the Thames, I wrote about the importance of the river when the first villages were being built.
    Your addition of the Indian civilization details is priceless, and I will use them in the future if I may.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  17. You’re welcome, Joanna! It’s my pleasure to share whatever little information I have after reading such a deep and thought provoking article.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My pleasure, Joanna!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A very interesting and informative post Joanna. Not sure about water having memory since it changes form so many times over generations and eons! I loved the music of Zamfer and Chopin!
    dwight

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you, Dwight, for your kind comments! Music is always helpful when reading a long post!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Another fascinating post, Joanna, and one that resonates deeply with my family and I. Living in California, we unfortunately anticipate this new fire season each summer and fall now, and it’s both frightening and depressing at the same time. We have friends in South Lake Tahoe who were evacuated because of the Caldor fire. Just listening to the news about the Paradise fire and the town’s demise was awful, to say the least. We also have friends in LA, but they are safe from Ida. Mother Nature is angry and she has a right to be. But I wonder if it’s too late to make changes. I hope not. Your photos are gorgeous and music superb. Thanks again! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You are welcome Joanna!

    Like

  24. yes, that is a great idea!

    Like

  25. What a coincidence, Joanna, that we both wrote about water this week! A great post, as always! 🌞

    Like

  26. Thank you, Lisa, for your kind comment. An important topic for all of us.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you, Lauren, for your generous and illuminating comments. If we don’t make drastic changes, it will be too late.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  30. You’re very welcome, Joanna, and I agree, which is frightening beyond words…

    Like

  31. Thanks for such a detailed, informative post. I honestly didn’t know I was going to finish it in one read. There were so many interesting facts, beautiful quotes, researches, discoveries and excerpts from religious texts that kept me interested. Lovely piece of valuable information, very wonderfully gathered and written. Kudos to you for bringing this delightful piece of information to us! The title itself is very intriguing and makes us want to read more.

    Like

  32. Thank you, SamSahana, for your most kind comments! I do try to write about interesting things, and I am happy with your appreciation.

    Joanna

    Like

  33. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  34. Sorry, that comment somehow appeared twice. 🙏

    Like

  35. Such a great and informative post Joanna on a very important topic. You have also provided a tranquil and peaceful read by sharing these beautiful images and videos. I especially enjoyed the expressive piano playing by Chopin, thanks for a great share!

    Like

  36. Thank you, Henrietta, for your kind comments! I think, you will like my today’s post when you have the time to look-it up!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Love this post! I enjoyed reading about the meaning of water in various spiritual traditions. It’s also a very powerful word in Judaism — Water and Living Waters names for Torah and for God in Hebrew. 🙏

    Like

  39. Thank you, Hineini, for your kind comments! It shows that we all have something in common, and I have learned something new.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I’m glad our paths crossed. It’s always a pleasure to make new friends in the WordPress community. 😊

    Like

  42. Thank you! I feel the same,

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  43. beautiful post Joanna. water sustains us and so do your words of history so rich embellished with love and pictures.. thank you💖

    Like

  44. Thank you, Cindy for another wonderful comment!! You really made my day!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Oh it was so deserved Joanna and you’re soooo welcome! soooo glad to hear. 💖💖💖

    Like

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