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The World’s Oldest Lie Detector – Licking Hot Metal in the Name of Truth

The Ayaidah, a Bedouin tribe in north-eastern Egypt is the last to practice the Bisha’h, an ancient ritual used to determine whether a suspect in a crime is innocent or guilty. They have to lick a red-hot spoon or rod in the presence of tribal authorities, and if their tongue blisters, they are guilty, if it’s left unscathed, they are innocent.

Believed to date back to ancient Mesopotamia, Bisha’h was used by most Bedouin tribes throughout the centuries, but all except the Ayaidah eventually abandoned it. The ritual is banned in countries like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but not in Egypt, although religious groups in the African country view it as unislamic. Considered by many the world’s oldest lie detection system (but definitely not the most accurate), Bisha’h was mostly used in situations where a crime was committed, but there were no witnesses. Suspects had to lick a heated spoon to prove their innocence, and regardless of the result, the verdict could not be contested.

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