X

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.

Read More »

Reverse Pinocchio – Researchers Find That Your Nose Shrinks When You Lie

Pinocchio may be just a children’s fairy tale, but Spanish scientists at the University of Granada recently investigated the so-called ‘Pinocchio effect’ and found that our noses don’t grow when we tell a lie, but actually shrink a bit.

Dr Emilio Gómez Milán and his team developed a lie detector test that used thermography to tell if people were lying, and found that whenever participants in their research were being untruthful, the temperature of the tip of their nose dropped up to 1.2 degrees Celsius, while the temperature of their forehead increased up to 1.5C. Scientist also found that drop in temperature at nose level actually caused it to slightly shrink, although the difference is undetected by the human eye.

Read More »