A YouTube video of a monk praying quietly in a tub of boiling oil has become viral on the web in recent years, leaving viewers wondering how the monk can avoid screaming in pain.
Social media users were captivated by the possibility of this Thai monk’s ability to challenge physics with his “magic.” Unfortunately, skeptical scientists soon pointed out some facts and almost ruined the illusion.
The monk, from Nong Bua Lamphu Province of Thailand, looks at ease despite being in an oil vessel with a voracious fire underneath. He is also seen sharing his magical powers with others by touching objects that pass him. His followers believe that with his touch he can make amulets. These objects are apparently sold to locals and other places where they believe in worship.
But not everyone is fooled by the miracle of the monk. According to a science instructor Jessada Denduangboripant, from Chulalongkorn University, there is no proof that the oil is actually boiling. “The only way to prove it is to measure the oil temperature where he’s sitting,” he wrote. “The liquid does not look like it’s boiling, and the tub just looks weird. It can have two layers to isolate the heat ”
Denduangboripant did not stop there. He says there are several ways to create this kind of illusion, as he himself demonstrated in a video in 2012, where he seems to be safely touching boiling oil. The trick, he says, is to pour some water into the bowl before adding the oil. The water then absorbs all the heat, but the oil will never boil.
According to the description of the original YouTube video, the monk performs this incredible feat with “a mixture of herbs that is first applied to the surface of the vessel to reduce the high heat, but the feat is still seen with a lot of danger. By conducting this type of evidence, Buddhist monks demonstrate their strength and determination to the people ”