Monk boils himself in oil: Trick or truth? (with videos)

Monk boils himself in oil: Trick or truth? (with videos)

Can monk perform miracle of boiling himself in oil & defy physics? Or is it a trick with scientific explanation, as one Chulalongkorn University professor suggests.

(Source: Facebook)


Monk boils himself in oil: Truth or trick?

Can a Buddhist monk perform a miracle such as boiling himself in oil and defy the laws of physics?

The ancient Pali scriptures or Tripitaka certainly records many miracles, but what about nowadays?

A monk in Nong Bua Lamphu province has recently become an internet sensation by praying calmly in a pot of oil that seems to be boiling.

In a YouTube video that has gone viral, the monk shares this magical power with others by touching objects they pass to him while he sits in the boiling oil.

In this way, his followers make their amulets magically powerful (or even a piece of fabric).

Although many admire the monk's show of invincibility to the laws of physics and accept the monk's magical powers at face value, uncritically without questioning them, other more inquiring minds are skeptical of his magical ritual.

Chulalongkorn University science professor Jessada Denduangboripant has come to the rescue of these inquiring minds, showing that sitting in seemingly boiling oil could actually be a sort of magic trick or illusion that could be performed by anyone with a little training and finesse.  [See here]

"The only way to prove it is [boiling] is to measure the temperature of the oil he's sitting in, the oil doesn't look like it's boiling," the professor observes.

This is the so-called "scientific method" in which: 1. a problem is identified, 2. data is gathered, 3. a hypothesis is made about the data, and 4. the hypothesis is tested.

The hypothesis to be tested here would be that the oil is actually not boiling and that is why the monk has no problem sitting in it. Testing would simply consist of taking the temperature of the water, if the monk would allow this to be done.

The science professor formulates another hypothesis, namely that "the oil doesn't look like it's boiling, and the pan just looks strange. The pan might have two layers to insulate the heat." or yet another hypothesis is that "the trick is to pour in some water in the bowl before the oil and start boiling. The water will absorb all the heat, but the oil never boils."

Whatever is happening here, the important thing is to test hypotheses until one proves to be true, this is the modern scientific way to determine the truth

The Chulalongkorn science professor has, in fact, already demonstrated procedures for performing this trick in a YouTube video clip:

Learn from listening

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  • absorb: to take in a liquid, gas or other substance from the surface or space around - ซึมซับ ดูดกลืน
  • accept: to agree to or approve of something - ยอมรับ
  • actually: used for stressing what is really true or what really happened - ตามความเป็นจริง
  • admire: to respect somebody for what they are or for what they have done - ชมเชย,ยกย่องสรรเสริญ
  • amulet: a small object that some people wear around their neck as a protection against evil, bad luck, disease etc - เครื่องราง
  • ancient: very old - ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
  • boiling: heated to the point where a liquid forms bubbles and turns to steam or vapour - เดือด
  • calmly: in a relaxed way without anxiety - อย่างใจเย็น, อย่างไม่ตื่นเต้น, อย่างสงบ
  • consist of: to be made of or formed from something - ประกอบด้วย
  • data: facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out things or to make decisions - ข้อมูล, ตัวเลข, สถิติ
  • defy the laws of physics: so something that is impossible according to the science of physics such as walk on water or fly -
  • determine: to discover something by examining evidence to or calculate something - กำหนด, ระบุ, แสดงผล
  • fabric: cloth, especially when it is used for making things such as clothes or curtains - ผ้าหรือสิ่งทอ
  • face value: what something says it is -
  • finesse: great skill or style - กลเม็ด
  • follower: a person who believes in and practices a religion -
  • formulate: to carefully develop a plan, system or proposal transparent simple, clear and easy to understand - คิดหาวิธีการ
  • gather: to search for and find things that you need or want - รวบรวม
  • hypothesis: an idea or explanation of something that is based on a few known facts but that has not yet been proved to be true or correct; guesses and ideas that are not based on certain knowledge - ข้อสันนิษฐาน, สมมุติฐาน
  • identify: to recognise something and understand what it is - ชี้ ระบตัวุ
  • illusions: the believe things that are not true; delusions, false impression - ความเข้าใจผิด, ความเชื่อผิดๆ, ความคิดผิดๆ
  • inquire: to ask someone for information about something - ถามถึง, สอบถาม
  • inquiring minds: people seeking knowledge and the truth -
  • insulated: protected with a material that prevents heat, sound, electricity, etc. from passing through - ห่อหุ้มด้วยฉนวน (ป้องกันความร้อน, กระแสไฟ, รังสีฯลฯ)
  • invincibility (noun): being too strong to be defeated or changed - ซึ่งไม่อาจเอาชนะได้, ซึ่งไม่สามารถเปลี่ยนได้
  • magic trick: something illusion that a magician does to entertain people , like making something disappear - วิทยากล
  • magical (adj): containing magic; used in magic - พิทยาพล, ฤทธา, มหัศจรรย์, ซึ่งมีเวทมนตร์
  • measure (verb): to find the size, quantity, etc. of something in standard units - วัดขนาด (ความยาว, ความสูง, ความเร็ว ฯลฯ)
  • mind: the part of a person that makes them able to be aware of things, to think and to feel; your ability to think and reason; your intelligence; the particular way that somebody thinks - สติปัญญา, จิตใจ, ความรู้สึกนึกคิด
  • miracle: an unusual and mysterious event that is thought to have been caused by a god or something not understood, or any very surprising and unexpected event which seems to be impossible - เรื่องมหัศจรรย์, ปาฏิหาริย์
  • object: a thing that can be seen or touched, but is not alive - วัตถุ, สิ่งของ
  • observe: to watch or study someone or something with care - สังเกตการณ์
  • perform: to put on a show for people, e.g., singing, playing a sport, etc - แสดง
  • perform (verb): to do what is required - ปฏิบัติหน้าที่
  • physicist (noun): a scientist who studies physics - นักดาราศาสตร์ฟิสิกส์
  • power (noun): political control of a country or an area; having a lot of influence and authority to control people and situations - อำนาจ
  • pray: to speak to God or a saint, for example to give thanks or ask for help - ภาวนา, สวดมนต์
  • professor: a university teacher of the highest rank - ศาสตราจารย์
  • prove: to use facts, evidence, etc. to show that something is true - พิสูจน์
  • question: to have or express doubts or suspicions about something - สงสัย
  • recently (adverb): not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้
  • record: make a copy of something such as music or writing - บันทึก
  • rescue: saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation - การช่วยชีวิต
  • ritual: a formal ceremony - พิธีการ
  • scientific method: the method used in modern science research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested - ระเบียบวิธีแบบวิทยาศาสตร์, วิธีการทางวิทยาศาสตร์, วิธีการที่ใช้ศึกษาค้นคว้าโดยการสังเกตรวบรวมข้อมูลและตั้งสมมติฐานเพื่อเป็นแนวทางที่จะทำการทดลองหรือทดสอบสมมติฐานนั้น เพื่อหาคำอธิบายที่เชื่อถือได้ของปรากฏการณ์ต่าง ๆ ถ้าสมมติฐานนั้นถูกต้องก็จะสร้างทฤษฎีหรือกฎขึ้น วิธีการทางวิทยาศาสตร์นี้ใช้ในการศึกษาค้นคว้ [พจนานุกรมศัพท์ สสวท.]
  • scriptures: the holy writings of a religion - คัมภีร์
  • seemingly: according to what you know or how something appears, - ตามที่ปรากฏ
  • sensation: something very exciting or interesting, or something which causes great excitement or interest - ความตื่นเต้น
  • skeptical: not believing things at first, until you are sure - สงสัย, ไม่เชื่อ, กังขา, ฉงนใจ
  • so-called: used for saying that a particular word is usually used for referring to someone or something - ที่เป็นที่รู้กัน
  • strange: unusual or surprising, especially in a way that is difficult to understand - แปลก
  • temperature: a measurement of how hot or how cold a place or object is - อุณหภูมิ
  • touch (verb): to put your hands and fingers on something - สัมผัส
  • training (noun): teaching people how to do a certain job or activity - การฝึกอบรม, การฝึก, การอบรม
  • trick: something that you do to make somebody believe something which is not true - การหลอกลวง, การเล่นกล
  • truth: what is actually the situation; not lies or misrepresentations - ความจริง
  • uncritically: without looking at something carefully to make sure it it is true -
  • viral: (of a video, photo, story, etc.) spread across the internet very quickly (like a virus spreading a disease) as people share it with their friends or the news media reports on it - แพร่กระจายผ่านทางอินเทอร์เน็ตอย่างรวดเร็ว
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