A man from Thailand went viral when he successfully raised the curiosity of people regarding their meditations and the display of their discipline and strength.
The Tripitaka, known as the ancient Pali scriptures, contains records of miracles performed by monks, and this one may or may not be part of the said miracles—but it could be close, as the monk from Nong Bua Lamphu, Thailand, is seen peacefully praying while sitting in a large vat filled with boiling oil, with the fire underneath still burning.
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His followers pass objects such as treasured possessions, amulets, and fabrics for him to touch, believing that as they do so, they too will be bestowed by his “magical powers.” Of course, not everyone keeps these amulets, some are sold to other places of worship and even in the community.
The video of the Buddhist monk meditating has already garnered over a million views in YouTube, with viewers attempting to look for a possible explanation as to how he could sit in the boiling vat of oil.
Science professor, Jessada Denduangboripant from the Chulalongkom University debunked the video, however, explaining that the monk could have sat there because there is no actual proof of the oil reaching boiling temperatures. She explained, “There is no proof that the oil is really boiling. The only way to prove it is to measure the temperature of the oil he’s sitting in.”
Looking closely, the oil’s surface is actually very calm despite the ranging fire below. There are no visible bubbles, which usually indicates that the liquid is already at its boiling point. Finally, the vat itself seems to have a two-layered design that seems to insulate the heat brought by the very high temperature.
The professor also explained that there are various methods as to how the monk would have been able to do this. For example, there could have been water in the basin before they added the oil, which means that the water will absorb all the heat and the oil will never reach its boiling point. He even demonstrated the technique in 2012, where he was able to submerge his fingers in a graduated glass with boiling oil.
Another theory posits the original video to have applied a blend of herbs to the vat’s surface to reduce the heat.
Still, there are those who believe that there’s a layer between the two pans, which helps the monk shield the heat, with an air hose fed through one of the legs to push bubbles into the liquid from a pump off-site.