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What killed the King ?
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Science (19)

The disappearance of the wild man
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European legend ?
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Parapsychology (20)

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Pain as offering for Lord Murugan
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Mysterious Place (39)

The Moai statues of Rapa Nui
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Egypt (12)

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Magic (4)

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The Book That Lit The Pyres
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Relic (15)

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Crying Icons And Statues

Weeping Statue

Some statues or icons are said to shed tears of water, blood, resin, oil, honey, myrrh or other without any explanation for the phenomenon. Since the 1980s, reported cases of crying statues and icons are more and more numerous. For some, it is undoubtedly a divine sign.

Flow of tears

It is practically impossible to list all the presumed crying statues or holy images that would have shed tears. In Italy, for example, more than two hundred cases have been identified. These holy images, statues or pious paintings shed tears or exude in their extremities blood or sweat. Sometimes the liquid even flows under the statue or icon. Strangely enough, these weeping statues were carved from various materials: wood, porcelain or metal. The same is true for weeping icons, which have been painted on wood as well as on canvas.

The amount of secreted fluid also varies. Thus, on some statues or icons, the liquid flows without interruption, for others, the phenomenon is intermittent or only continues for a determined time. These secretions often have supposedly curative virtues, and, when they are accessible to the public, thousands of pilgrims come each year to meditate near these images.

Crying statues in literature

Weeping statues are not uncommon in oral tradition and storytelling, but in this case are usually human beings who have been turned to stone. One of the oldest stories of this type is told to us by Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD) in his Metamorphoses. In this story, Niobe, wife of the King of Thebes, attracts the wrath of the gods with her sarcasm. To take revenge, they kill her fourteen children and change Niobe into a stone statue. But her grief is such that even in this form, she continues to shed tears.

It is not known where Ovid himself got this legend, but his Metamorphoses generally have their origin in the Greek or Roman oral tradition. We can therefore suppose that the phenomenon of weeping statues already existed in Antiquity and that, at that time already, an attempt had been made to explain it.

Miracle or mystification

But we know today that not all statues or icons are real puzzles. Indeed, the growing number of these weeping statues since the 1980s and their popularity have ended up raising doubt. In fact, many of these “blood relics” have been exposed as fakes. Some owners, for example, did not hesitate to make their statues or icons “cry” by inserting a pipe or using porous material. The use of certain chemicals also achieves similar effects.

Sometimes the hoax could not be established with certainty. Often, in fact, scientists were not allowed to study the statue or the liquid it secretes, which complicated their work. However, some weeping statues or holy images have been studied in depth with the most modern methods without detecting the slightest trace of manipulation. Despite everything, the scientific world remains skeptical. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, everyone can therefore interpret or not the phenomenon of weeping statues as a divine sign.