In Cambodia, the latest answer to health and winning numbers in a lottery is a log.
Not just any log—this one was dug up from a pond and showed no signs of rotting after approximately 100 years in the water.
‘What I think is, why does this log not rot, even though it stayed underground for over a hundred years? It is still in such good state, unlike some metals, which would have rusted if it stayed underground for that long. I have never seen such a well-preserved log before, so when I heard the news, a group of villagers and I came to see it straight away’, he said.
It’s not just a few locals either.
Some 4000 to 5000 people have already been to see the 13-metre-long log that was discovered earlier this month when a family excavated a pond in western Pursat province, Prey Yeang village chief Hun Nov said by phone.
“They believe the log has magical powers,” he said, adding that visitors were coming loaded with offerings such as pig heads and boiled whole chickens after some locals who touched the wood won money in the lottery.
…Mr Hun said some believers rubbed talcum powder onto the wood, hoping to see lucky lottery numbers, and others drank water from the pond and smeared nearby mud onto their bodies in a bid to cure their ailments.
Don’t get smug and dismiss the Cambodians as being uneducated superstitious villagers. Europe and North America have a long history of magical healing, such as the water at Lourdes in France. In order to be classified as a saint, you must have magical powers attributed to you. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has a long list of common superstitions, although no list could ever be complete.