Shroud of Turin Facts

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Height of the Man on the Shroud of Turin

It is hard to know. Estimates generally range from 5'9" to 5'11".

One reason is that we don't know how flat the body is on the cloth. If the image is anatomically correct -- and it seems to be -- we know that the knees are bent and the head is tilted forward as though resting on a pillow (outside of the cloth).

Another reason is that we don't really know the size of the cloth at the time the image was formed. How much has it changed over the years due to stretching or shrinking? It has been held aloft, nailed up for display, rolled up, folded. It has been exposed to sunshine and dampness. It was seared in a fire that was doused with water. During a restoration effort in 2002 it was stretched with weights and steamed to remove wrinkles. By some estimates the length of the cloth was increased by eight centimeters during the restoration.

  The scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than settle it.”

  And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious relics to have a justifiably mythical status.

  It is simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was made.”

Scientist-Journalist Philip Ball
Nature, January 2005

Nature, that most prestigious of scientific journals, that once had bragging rights to claim that the Shroud was fake, responding to new, peer-reviewed studies that discredit the carbon 14 dating and show that the Shroud could be authentic.


  1. The Shroud of Turin is certainly much older than the now discredited radiocarbon date of 1260-1390. It is at least twice as old and it could be 2000 years old.  FACTS
  2. Though no one knows how it was made, the image is a selective caramel-like darkening of an otherwise clear coating of starch fractions and various saccharides.  FACTS
  3. The blood is real blood.  FACTS
  4. Much of what we think we see in the image is an optical illusion FACTS

Shroud of Turin Facts Check: 2005 Facts