The Most Brutal Torture Method: Chinese Water Torture

The Chinses Water torture method though at glance might not seem effective but it is an efficacious way to break someone.

Throughout history, there have been numerous torture methods developed by different civilizations to inflict mental or physical pain. There have been cruel torture methods like Crushed by elephant, rat torture, hanging, and forced feeding but the Chinese water torture method has been one to make your hair stand at the end.

Though for an instant it might not seem to be very painful and scary. But, it won’t take long to realize how a drop of water, minute, frivolous, seemingly innocent… yet can be the cause of your death. The method can drive an average person insane in about 30 to 40 minutes. A single drop of cold water can become so much powerful persuader.

You are completely tied up, you can’t move your arms, feet, or head. Every 5 seconds, a drop of water consistently falls on your forehead, scalp, or face.

Usually, the pattern of water drop is irregular which makes it more painful. If it was regular our bodies might have attempted to develop a fighting mechanism to lower the irritation and pain. The body tries to anticipate the next drip which inaddition to irritation causes anxiety.

Things would seem fine until about half an hour, and then the sound of the drips start to irritate you. Every drop starts to annoy you.

In about a week, each drip sounds like a drum.

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It has been a month you have been tied up to same chair and water drops has been dripping on your forehead. The hurtless drops of water start to open wounds in your head. You start to experience mental deterioration, delusions, and hallucinations. You can’t differentiate in between reality. You are drifting away and, and losing touch with reality.

What makes Chinese Water Torture so effective?

The effect of Chinses water torture are lasting, they create permanent damage in victim’s mind and is proportional to the intensity of exposure.  

The continuously falling drips for prolonged period of time causes mental breakdowns, the body can neither relax, rest or sleep. The irritation gradually goes on increasing and becomes irresistable.

Chinese Water Torture method dates back to 15th or 16th century, and the invention is credited to Hippolytus de Marsiliis.

A reproduction of a Chinese water torture technique equipment at Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial

Marsillis have been observing the effects of water on stones, he observed continious drips of water falling one by one had gradually created a hollow. He then anticipated what if this is applied to human body, and developed this method.

Other suggestions say that the term “Chinese water torture” was invented merely to grant the method a sense of ominous mystery. The victim would be stripped of their clothes, shown to the public, then tortured. They would be driven insane while bystanders watched, mocked, and laughed at them.


The method is a proof of how the little things keep piling up and make us overwhelmed. We always tend to ignore small things, but these tiny things create huge effect in long run. For instance the butterfly effect. You must have heard of how flap of butterfly in Brazil can create a tornado in Texas.

So pay attention to atoms, solve them, do something about them before they get big, before the get to the point where it becomes difficult to handle. Remember the old saying…a stitch in time, saves nine. Small things are powerful. It can be good or bad. Don’t disregard it.

“By small things, great things can come to pass.”

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