Monday, February 08, 2010

science or religion?


What is it

Statues and paintings in Europe has been proven to have either wept or bled. Probably the most famous case is in 1953 where a small statue of Mother Mary keep weeping profusely. Scientists even took samples of the tears, and announced that they could not differentiate it from human tears. The Catholic Church took it as a miracle, and today, the statue is still housed in a shrine specially built for it, and receives worshippers and visitors every year. Another famous incident is when a small plaster statue of Virgin Mary bleed profusely, coming from its cheek. A Bishop initially was sceptic about it, but when he witnessed the bleeding himself, he came out of it amazed and excited. In 1971, Italy, a painting of Virgin Mary was also said to be bleeding! Police locked it in a case, and when they opened it the next day, it was found that the painting was still bleeding, and that blood was actually human blood!

What is believed to have happened

Many believed this are all religious enigmas, miracles that was only made possible by the forces above us. Everyone believed that Virgin Mary was weeping and bleeding for reasons, too many to be named. The fact that they worship the weeping statue already proves that many people do believe that this is a great miracle.

What scientists believed

Scientists has always tried to solve this mystery, which is perhaps one of the most baffling secrets phenomena. But only one scientist, Dr Luigi Garlaschelli, was able to give a very well justified answer:

What is needed is a hollow statue made of porous material, such as plaster or ceramic. The icon must be glazed or painted with some impermeable coating. If the statue is then filled up with a liquid [surreptitiously, through a tiny hold in the head, for example], the porous material will absorb it, but the glazing will stop it from flowing out. If the glazing, however, is imperceptibly scratched away on or around the eyes, tear-like drops will leak out, as if materialising from thin air. If the cavity behind the eyes is small enough, once all the liquid has dripped out there are virtually no traces left in the icon. When i put it to the test, this trick proved to be very satisfactory, baffling all onlookers.

It is believed that this is perhaps one of the only logical explanations till today, with many people believing this theory. It has been proven and shown, and it looks just like the real thing.


Worshippers of Virgin Mary still do believe that her weeping and crying are works of miracles, but those neutral parties who have actually witnessed Garlaschelli's experiments would also be convinced that this could well be fake. But this only works for statues, what about paintings? Till today, people still argue over which is the right answer, but most people would just choose to think it's a miracle, and not look at a scientific answer. So does it really weep and bleed? Or is it just a hoax? The answer is yet to be disclosed.

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