Every now and then, a website or blog will publish a list of unsolved mysteries: “The Ten Greatest Mysteries of Our Time” or “Five Unsolved Mysteries That Will Hurt Your Brain” or “Eight Things Scientist Can’t Figure Out.” You get the idea.
Now, Cracked.com, which boasts of being America’s only humor sites since 1958, (which is big enough to have their own iPhone and iPad apps) has published at list of “7 Famous ‘Unsolved’ Mysteries (Science Solved Years Ago).” The Shroud of Turin is number seven followed by Auras, The Ghost Ship Flying Dutchman, Human Magnetism, Men in Black, The Belmez Faces and The Crystal Skulls. Cracked writes:
We at Cracked aren’t going to be satisfied until we’ve sucked every last mystery from the world like the final gurgling slurps of a milkshake. Thus, here are seven mysteries that have enthralled human imagination for decades — if not centuries — that were actually solved long ago. Hint: The solution never involves magic.
And so they begin their all too brief explanation of the Shroud:
It’s the ultimate religious artifact of our times, considering we still haven’t found the Holy Grail yet. According to legend, Jesus was wrapped in a burial shroud after his crucifixion, and it retained the ghostly image of his face.
Just the face? No, as we know it is the whole body, front and back. They continue:
The shroud, mentioned only vaguely in the Bible, resurfaced in the possession of a knight in Lirey, France, in the year 1390 and made its way across churches in Europe. It eventually ended up in a chapel in Turin, Italy, after a fire damaged it in 1532. It remains there to this day and has since become known as the Shroud of Turin.
1390? According to the meticulous history timeline at shroud.com, “April 10 (or 16), 1349: . . . when Geoffrey de Charny, a French knight, writes to Pope Clement VI reporting his intention to build a church at Lirey, France. . . He is also already in possession of the Shroud . . .”
So, how is it that science solved this mystery years ago? The carbon dating is mentioned without any reference to the fact that for all practical purposes it is discredited. Luigi Garlaschelli’s attempt at reproducing the image, is also discredited by several scientists, even in the scientific journal, the Journal of Imaging Science and Technology (JIST).
Cracked also tells us that in 2009:
. . . an authentic tomb from the actual time of Jesus was unearthed in Jerusalem, and archaeologists found a dead aristocrat wrapped in a shroud made from far less advanced a textile than the Shroud of Turin, which seems to use weaving techniques not found in the time of Jesus. So we’d have to believe that a really rich dude was somehow unable to afford the same super-shroud as a local carpenter who died a penniless criminal.
And to make sure that we understand this is humor or that the authors of the article don’t know what they are talking about, they comment on the side by side negative and positive images of the face by writing: “Wow, upping the contrast on a coffee stain can really work miracles.”