Milk Drinking Ganesha Statues

I have a question. After looking through some other threads I have my doubts about whether anyone here will be able to answer it in an insightful or definitive way, but here goes…You may have heard a few years back about those Hindu religious statues drinking milk from bowls set before them. Typically, I’d assume that there was some simple hoax involved, but this phenomenon was fairly widespread - I even knew some non-Hindu skeptics who claimed to have witnessed a statue drinking (or “drinking”?) milk in a temple in Dallas, TX. I even seem to recall seeing something about all this on one of the national nightly news programs. So, anyways, what was the deal? I am a skeptic myself and fairly contemptuous towards religion in general, but the frequency of this phenomenon distinguishes it a bit from the more prosaic Jesus-shaped cookie. I hate to doubt my doubts, so could someone w/ a little more information help me resolve my cognitive dissonance?

[Moderator Hat ON]

This is more of a General Question than a Great Debate, so I’m moving it over there.

[Moderator Hat OFF]

An explanation (of sorts) that I remember had to do with he porous nature of the material from which the statues were made. Admittedly, that is so vague as to be useless, so if I find something more senssible, I’ll post again.

Got his answering machine though. He’s never at home, I swear.

If I hear back from him I’ll let you know. :wink:

Plain old capillary action. I saw a Discovery Channel show where a skeptic fed milk to a Mickey Mouse statue as well - now there’s a religion I could get into!

http://www.indiaworld.co.in/news/features/feature25.html

This thread, «Do Other Religions See Holy Images In Potatos Too?», also discusses the subject in passing, with several links to sites explaining the skeptic’s point of view.

It’s the same principle as a Chia Pet. Porous terra cotta absorbs liquids, be it milk or water for that whatever-it-is growing on a Chia.

Well, not just clay statues sucked down milk. This link, however, explains the way it worked on various statues, and gives some good history.
http://www.indiaworld.co.in/news/features/feature25.html