Shroud of Turin Facts

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Negative and Positive Phenomenon



The image on the left is how the face appears on the Shroud. The image on the right is a photographic negative. Since the image on the right looks like a positive image, we can be quite certain that the image on the Shroud is a negative image. 

This property was discovered by Secondo Pia, in 1898, when he examined the negative of a photograph of the Shroud in his darkroom. Pia was the first person to ever photograph the Shroud.

What me mean when we say negative image is that lighter and darker tones are reversed.  For instance, the tip of the nose on the Shroud is dark but when reversed, it is almost white.

It is this visual characteristic of the Shroud's image that has led some to believe that the image is a form of medieval proto-photograph. But the argument fails on two specific point. Chemical analysis clearly rules out the light sensitive chemical required for a photograph and image analysis shows that the highlights and lowlights are not produced by reflected light.


  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