photo Rice-jar-experiment-mad-scientist_zps8ng5bpja.jpg
Me as a mad scientist

“You plain ugly stupid rice. Go back to your rice field, where you belong. Nobody would ever want to throw you at a wedding. Or eat you, because you stink. Have you looked at yourself? You’re a disgrace. I’m surprised you would even dare to show yourself outside in the first place. I wish I didn’t buy you.”

“Hello beautiful little snowflakes. You look wonderful today. I’m so happy and honoured to have you in my room. I hope the sun is treating you well, my cute white rice buds.”

I’m in my room, talking to rice. Or rather, I’m thinking to rice, in the name of science.

No worries, I haven’t started my own cult (yet! what do you think about the name ‘the magic order of the ostrich’?). I just wanted to try something.

Last year during a party, someone told me about an interesting experiment. The basic idea: you have two jars and put rice in both of them. One jar you overload with love every single day. The other one you overload with hate. Then somehow the hate jar should get rotten, while the love jar looks perfectly fine, even after weeks. And countless people try it for themselves and get these results. The experiment was originally conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto and has received a lot of criticism since then on his (not so scientific) methods. I’m a sceptic, but also really curious. So after searching for ‘rice jar experiment’ on youtube and watching a couple of videos (apparently many people must talk about these kind of things at parties), I needed to try this for myself as well.

 photo Rice-jar-experiment-stopwatch_zpshx3khfns.jpg

Le question

If I put rice in two separate jars and treat one with a positive attitude and the other one with a negative attitude, will the rice in the negative treated jar rot quicker?

Hypothesis Schmypothesis

Nope. There won’t be any difference between the jars. It’s a hoax *dramatic stare*! (But still, wouldn’t it be mind-blowing if it did work?)


Many of the experiments I saw are utterly flawed (uneven amounts of rice, letting the rice fall and putting it back in the jar again, etc.). Therefore I am going to try to control at least a couple more factors than the average video I saw. Here is my approach:

♥ The jars were new. I poured boiling water in them to disinfect them. After a couple of minutes I poured the water out and dried them with a clean piece of cloth.
♥ I cooked the rice and used it directly after. This way possible bacteria in the air didn’t have much time to land on my cooked rice and start little bacteria families.
♥ I used a scale to measure exactly 100 gram of rice to put in each jar. The bowl & spoon I used to measure the rice in and scoop up the rice were also boiled in water just before I used them and then dried.
♥ After putting the rice in the jar I tried to distribute the rice evenly over the bottom of the jar. Then I closed the jars.
♥ The stickers I used for labeling the jars are exactly the same size. I put them on the low side of the jar and made them small so they wouldn’t interfere with the sunlight. I put an ‘H’ for hate and a ‘L’ for love to distinguish between them.
♥ I placed the jars on my desk. They should get the exact same amount of sunlight. Just to be sure that the little distance between them doesn’t still have an effect on the sunlight they get, I will switch them around every single day.
♥ I won’t lift the jars (causing the rice to move). I will only gently glide them over the surface of the table when I need to move them.
♥ Every day, I will hold the jars one by one for 2 minutes. I will time myself with a stopwatch. While holding the love jar, I will think only positive thoughts. When holding the hate jar, I will only think hateful thoughts. I won’t speak them out loud, merely think them.

 photo Rice-jar-experiment-label_zpszs9na4ri.jpg

Hello fellow geeks

That being said, I am aware that my standards aren’t up to calling it a real science experiment. For example I would need an extra jar with rice & do nothing with it as a control experiment (although this would be ignoring, even better to think something generic when holding it). However, I’m cheap and I’m not gonna buy an extra jar for that reason. I would also need to control the temperature and make sure there wouldn’t be a difference between the two jars. And I would need to repeat the experiment many times to rule out the random factor. That, I don’t have any intention of doing. I’m just conducting this experiment as a way to answer my curiosity with a fun activity. And just FYI, I already accidentally cracked the lid of the jar by pouring boiled water in it (I don’t think it lets any air through, but still). I figured a completely closed jar will probably keep the rice fresh for longer, so I gave the cracked lid to the happy jar, just in case.

So that was my huge disclaimer for all the science lovers out there: I know my experiment is flawed. I will have fun doing it anyway.

I wonder what will happen! I’ll share the result in a couple of weeks!

Also, I hope they don’t start to stink or look too disgusting. This desk is kind of my work space.

What experiment would you like to try one day? I would love to hear about it in the comments!


  • Reply


    July 21, 2015 at 00:01

    I feel like they are going to smell! hahaha. Or mold might grow…

    • Reply


      July 21, 2015 at 12:41

      Well, as long as I keep the lid closed there is no smell. But yes, this experiment is on the dark side :p

  • Reply


    July 21, 2015 at 05:44

    Well! I hope you can have a result that makes you feel satisfied! I will try with a plant, and see if one get withered for the hate, who knows

    • Reply


      July 21, 2015 at 12:42

      Ohh you need to let me know how that works out! I’m curious to hear your results

  • Reply


    July 25, 2015 at 22:18

    So intrigued by this! You do make me laugh! This reminds me of this episode of the Good Life in which they tried a similar experiment on some seeds

    • Reply


      July 26, 2015 at 15:26

      I just watched the clip. It’s hilarious and I can relate. It’s exactly like me and my rice haha.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.