Study shows Shroud of Turin has DNA from Around the World

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The mysterious and controversial cloth has gotten even more mysterious as a new study has shown that the enigmatic cloth contains DNA from around the planet. It is believed to be by many as the burial cloth of Jesus, and the center of a debate between skeptics, historians, and archeologists. Now, the mystery regarding the enigmatic cloth deepens further as DNA tests show it contains traces of DNA from around the globe.

The cloth of approximately 4.5 meters in length was the alleged shroud placed over the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial. It has remained as an object of fascination for both the Christian faith and science.  Its origin is controversial, while some place the shroud of Turin more than 2,000 years ago to adjust the story to a supernatural origin, others believe it dates between the 13th and 14th century, based on a radiocarbon dating carried out on the linen in 1988. In addition, despite thorough scientific analysis, so far no one knows for sure how the image of a crucifixion victim is shown on the shroud although many say it is the work of Leonardo da Vinci.


While historical records place the mysterious shroud of Turin in the late 13th century, scholars have participated in an ongoing debate whether the Shroud existed or not prior to the 13th century. But the Shroud of Turin is a modern mystery at all, even during the middle ages researchers appeared to disagree over the authenticity and origin of the controversial piece of cloth. As of the 15th century, the existence of the Shroud of Turin is much better documented.

While many believe that the stains and images seen on the shroud are the results of an artist’s work, many people believe that the image was literally transferred from Jesus’ body onto the cloth by the miraculous release of ‘divine light’.  The modern scientific analysis seems to contradict the theory where the cloth encased the body of Jesus of Nazareth, around 30 AD.

The first time scientists managed to get their hands onto the shroud was in 1969 when experts performed physical examinations, chemical analysis, and radiocarbon dating. In 1981, based on numerous rigorous tests performed, a report stating the following was released:

“We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.”

The full length of the Shroud of Turin. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The full length of the Shroud of Turin. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While many believed the rigorous tests would shed light on the origin of the mysterious cloth, many more questions were in fact raised. Experts had not found traces of any artificial pigments which means that the image seen on the Shroud of Turin was made by contact of a real human body and not the result of an artist’s work. However, how the image of the body was placed onto the shroud is a mystery that remains unanswered.

In a more recent study published this year in the Journal Nature, researchers discovered that the cloth may have been originally made in India, and mysteriously contains DNA from ALL over the World, a discovery that has increased the mystery surrounding the enigmatic piece of cloth. By sequencing DNA from dust and pollen found on the shroud, researchers were able to reveal the environments and different people that the cloth came into contact in the distant past.

In the study, researchers wrote:



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