RIO DE JANEIRO, September 20 (RIA Novosti, Andrei Kurguzov) - Images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary discovered on leaves in tropical Brazilian forests are divine messages made by ants, a local television channel has claimed.
The show showed dried leaves of guava, mango and other fruit trees, bearing pierced images of Christian saints and inscriptions in Portuguese.
Speaking on the show, Rev. Antonio Maria said he had once seen ants cut out an image of the Virgin Mary on a palm tree branch in two hours or so.
Biologist Jose Umberto, who had been invited onto the show to give his expert opinion, confirmed that the images were not the work of man. A human hand would have deformed the leaves' structure, he said.
A microscopic examination showed that the tiny holes pierced in the leaves varied in diameter and that the intervals between each of the two neighboring holes were not the same.
While scientists continue their efforts to establish the origin of the mysterious images, theologians and psychics maintain these are messages from God. They say it is no coincidence that inscribed in one of the leaves is the word "pas," which they believe to be a misspelled version of the Portuguese for peace, "paz."