suggest that many characteristics of the images on the shroud are
optical illusions caused by random plaid patterns in the cloth. For
instance, because of these patterns, the face of the man on the shroud
appears gaunt and the nose abnormally long and narrow. By using image
enhancement technology to reduce the effect of the variegated patterns,
the shape of the face changes significantly. The face takes on a broader
look and the nose becomes realistic looking.
Shroud researchers have discovered that these patterns are caused by
alternating bands of darker and lighter threads in the cloth. Ancient
linen was often manufactured by bleaching the thread in batches before
weaving, thus producing nonuniform whiteness in the cloth.
scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the
scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than
And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious
relics to have a justifiably mythical status.
simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was
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.
WHAT WE KNOW IN 2005
- 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
- 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.
- The blood is real blood.
- Much of what we think we see in the
image is an optical illusion.
Shroud of Turin Facts Check: