AN AMAZING FACT: In the jungles and rain forests of southern Mexico, Central America, and the northern parts of South America are found unusual members of the Iguana family known as basilisks. From their crested heads to their tails these reptiles can grow up to two to three inches long. They live most of their time up in the trees but are never very far from a body of water. In many ways they’re just typical lizards in what they eat and where they live.
What makes them so amazing, however, is how they escape when threatened. They are famous for dropping from the trees and running out across the water. They sometimes scamper up to 15 feet across the surface of rivers or lakes in just a few seconds! To watch them perform this maneuver is an incredible sight. They actually run on top of the surface of the water. This is how the species earned the nickname the “Jesus Lizard.”
So, how do they do run across water? To begin with, they have powerful hind legs that give them explosive running speed and enough momentum to get moving. Of course, the fastest runners in the world don’t move fast enough to walk on water. They also have hind feet with fringes of skin that unfurl in the water, increasing surface area. But there’s more. As their feet slap the water, they trap a small air pocket or bubble that briefly keeps them afloat, step by step. If they slow down or stop, they sink just like the rest of us. But that’s not a problem. Their long whipping tails help the basilisk lizards to be excellent swimmers. They can remain underwater for up to 30 minutes to escape predators.
Of course, the Bible teaches that Jesus walked across water as well, but He was not the only one. “And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:28, 29).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.Proverbs 30:28