The Hindu milk miracle was a phenomenon reported to have occurred on September 21, 1995. Before dawn, a worshipper at a temple in south New Delhi made an offering of milk to a statue of Lord Ganesha. When a spoonful of milk from the bowl was held up to the trunk of the statue, the liquid was seen to disappear, apparently taken in by the idol. Word of the event spread quickly, and by mid-morning it was found that statues of the entire Hindu pantheon in temples all over North India were taking in milk, with the family of Shiva (Parvati, Ganesha, and Kartikeya) apparently the “thirstiest”.
By noon the news had spread beyond India, and Hindu temples in Britain, Canada, Dubai, and Nepal among other countries had successfully replicated the phenomenon. The apparent miracle had a significant effect on the areas around major temples; vehicle and pedestrian traffic in New Delhi was dense enough to create a gridlock lasting until late in the evening. Many stores saw a massive jump in sales of milk, with one Gateway store in England selling over 25,000 pints of milk, and overall milk sales in New Delhi jumped over 30%. Many minor temples struggled to deal with the vast increase in numbers, and queues spilled out into the streets.
Seeking to explain the phenomenon, scientists from India’s Ministry of Science and Technology travelled to a temple in New Delhi and made an offering of milk containing a food coloring. As the level of liquid in the spoon dropped, it became obvious that after the milk disappeared from the spoon, it coated the statue beneath where the spoon was placed. With this result, the scientists offered capillary action as an explanation; the surface tension of the milk was pulling the liquid up and out of the spoon, before gravity caused it to run down the front of the statue.
The miracle occurred again on 20-21 August 2006 in almost exactly the same fashion, although initial reports seem to indicate that it occurred only with statues of Ganesh, Shiva, and Durga. The phenomenon had reappeared only days after reports of sea water turning sweet that led to mass hysteria in Mumbai.