Some might say it's a miracle, others might assert it's just par for the course... No matter how you choose to look at it, around Easter each year we can typically expect to see a round-up of strange news pertaining to ancient biblical mysteries and even Jesus Christ himself.
This year has turned out to be no exception, with experts boasting everything from proof of biblical-era plagues, to claims that new digital scans of the famous Shroud of Turin have resulted in a clear rendering of the face of the Christian savior.
First up, a new mystery has surfaced at the site of the famous Rosslyn Chapel, often linked to Freemasonry and the legendary Knights Templar, who were once believed to keep the secret of the holy grail used by Christ at the last supper. During a recent renovation of the 600-year-old chapel, two beehives were discovered, hidden within the stonework in the upper portions of the building. Strangely, they aren't abandoned insect nests, however; they are man made.
The Times Online reports:
"It appears the hives were carved into the roof when the chapel was built, with the entrance for the bees formed, appropriately, through the centre of an intricately carved stone flower. The hives were found when builders were dismantling and rebuilding the pinnacles for the first time in centuries."
What is the mystery of the bees? As strange as this seems, perhaps the bees aren't the only ones leading secret lives. In fact, for decades scholars have begun to suppose that Moses, who famously led the Israelites out of Egypt, may actually have been Egyptian himself. Ofri Ilani with Haaretz.com explains:
"Was Moses actually an Egyptian priest who led a revolt against his country? Various writers have raised this theory on numerous occasions in the past, from the Hellenistic period to the 20th century. It is supported by, among other things, the recurrent appearance in ancient Egyptian sources of the name Mose, which was fairly common among the Egyptian nobility."
Moses' nationality isn't the only thing in question regarding his exploits, however. Now scientists appearing in an upcoming National Geographic special claim that proof of biblical-scale plagues draws from scientific fact, rather than Moses' mystical feats. Believed by scholars to have occurred at the ancient city of Pi-Ramses on the Nile Delta, a new explanation for the appearances of swarms of pests and bad weather is offered by Richard Gray, Science Correspondent for the UK's Telegraph:
"The city appears to have been abandoned around 3,000 years ago and scientists claim the plagues could offer an explanation. Climatologists studying the ancient climate at the time have discovered a dramatic shift in the climate in the area occurred towards the end of Rameses the Second's reign."
Though climate change (much like today) is now also considered to be a culprit for floods in biblical times, this new information is hardly the most controversial to culminate in time for Sunday's big egg-hunt. Indeed, History Channel claims that modern technology and an ancient holy relic may have revealed the best rendering to-date that depicts the face of Jesus of Nazareth. According to a recent press release posted at their website, this research may have resulted in the most accurate depiction of Christ's likeness to-date:
"While there have been many documentaries about the shroud, most have centered on the shroud’s authenticity. HISTORY’S THE REAL FACE OF JESUS? presents something very different: an attempt to reveal the image embedded in the fibers of the fabric, to turn the faint, unfocused, two-dimensional image into a living, moving, 3D creation – if they are successful, this may be the most accurate depiction ever made of the man many believe to be Jesus Christ."
For the faithful--as well as the curious and science-minded among us--it looks like this year will bring us an unusually anomalous Easter! Let's just hope none of the bunny eggs left lying around turn out to be vessels piloted by aliens from another dimension...