Fireballs face-off: Biologist Jesada dares to unravel Naga mystery

Photo courtesy of Issuu.

Renowned biologist Jesada Denduangboripant from the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, has been challenged by Boonma Punduang, the mayor of Bueng Kan, to prove the phenomenon of Naga Fireballs. In response to the challenge, Jesada has proposed an alternative method of scientific examination, dismissing the need for a 1 million baht wager.

Jesada Denduangboripant, a respected figure in the field of biology, recently expressed his views on the annual phenomenon of Naga Fireballs. The phenomenon, typically observed around the time of Buddhist Lent, has been subject to much debate and speculation.

Contrary to popular belief, Jesada claims that the fireballs are not the result of gases igniting on the water’s surface. Following these remarks, Boonma Punduang, the Mayor of Bueng Kan, challenged Jesada to provide tangible proof of his theory. Boonma proposed a wager of 1 million baht, asserting that if Jesada could prove his scientific analysis, he would accept defeat.

However, if the popular beliefs of Nong Khai and Bueng Kan were proven true, Jesada would owe the million-baht payment.

In response, Jesada shared the news and accepted the challenge.

“I like their idea of proving the Naga Fireballs, but there’s no need to place any wager or prize money.”

He explained his lack of funds for such a wager, citing his position as a humble civil servant. Instead, Jesada proposed a different approach – a collaborative effort next year for a well-planned investigation. He invited the local community, the media, and interested parties to bring their cameras and record the event extensively, reported Sanook.

Jesada also suggested that if the Naga Fireballs were not visible in Bueng Kan, they could select another location where they were more abundant.

He recommended Ratthanawapi’s Phaya Naga Yard as a potential site. He proposed that half the team capture the phenomenon from the Thai side, while the remaining half could cover it from the Laos side. He even suggested the use of drones for an aerial perspective.

Jesada expressed confidence that their efforts if sustained over one or two years, could yield valuable scientific information for further study. He ended his post by inviting the mayor to call him at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, to schedule the investigation for next year.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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