The process is simple and provides an important clue into the history of water filtration.
The history of evolution demonstrates how human beings have adapted and developed skills for survival. Over the years, this resulted in the development of a number of methods to maximize food and care for our health, many of which seem antiquated today in comparison to modern alternatives. One such technique is an ancient water filtering method from the Middle East's desert regions that caught the internet's attention thanks to a popular TikTok video. The method, a Mayan water filtration system, is from hundreds of years ago, reports My Modern Met.
Muhammad Al Hussainan, a blogger, shared the video online first. The original caption encapsulates the remarkable filtering process that is seen in the video by describing the procedure as water extraction after the rain. One of the men in the video proposes that a puddle of dirty rainwater in the middle of the desert can be used to brew coffee and goes on to describe how the soil is a natural filter.
Despite the fact that a pool of soiled rainfall may not seem like the best supply of water, he goes on to demonstrate how the water can be filtered by pouring it outside the original puddle and allowing it to flow back in. The process shows how the sediments in the small cistern collect impurities in the water.
The men in the video repeat the process until the water in the puddle slowly but surely appears to become clearer and cleaner, eventually becoming a pool of glistening water. The man says in the video: "Who would have that this was the dirty water looking like this? Now we can make coffee." Another adds: "You can get coffee or make anything else."
Although the water appears to be ready to use, the fact that they are brewing coffee seems to imply that it should go through another boil to kill any bacteria remaining in the liquid. But it's a clever—and life-saving—trick to know that regular rainfall can be filtered in the midst of the desert. This technique probably benefited a lot of people over the years, especially in one of the planet's hottest places where temperatures are high.
The video was shared on Reddit by u/itsModahoe and has gathered over 84k upvotes. A Reddit user, u/IronStogies, commented: "Got lost in the mountains and drank water dripping off a mossy log. Figured the moss filtered it. Best water I've ever drank. I'd drink desert coffee no doubt."
Another user, u/liberatedhusks, said, "This is actually a good technique if you are ever lost in the woods and can’t find a running stream. Digging a cistern until you hit natural water and it fills and filters. Mind you there are a few more steps and you will still end up infected with something if you can’t boil it, but you need to stay hydrated."
Reddit user, u/Saukko505, added, "Most of Finland's tap water comes from underground under big areas of sand that formed during the last ice age. It's very clean and goes barely through any filtering." Another, u/CalicoJack195, said, "We used to do this in the deserts of AZ. We had an electric survivorman filter we used from the source of water after it was filtered like this."