Solved - The Case of the Singapore Monkey Tree PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 16 September 2007 18:37

This Debunker made it to Shin Min on 19 Sep 07. Read the News at our forums.


The mid-month of September was the ending of the Hungry Ghost Month, but it also heralded the arrival of another well-know strange phenomena in Singapore.

The worship of Spirit Trees.

Above - The Monkey Tree of Jurong West

This Spirit Tree in Changi (above), had lived over 100 years, had a girth of more than 2m, but was recently removed during a landscaping exercise.)

The Changi Spirit Tree was revealed to the Public in year 2001, when road widening removed the fencing that formerly held it from public entry/eye. But it could not escape the folly of men who worshipped it after that.

The Tree was accidentally almost burned down through fire caused by the food offering and incense. Later the Tree was deemed unsafe during a landscaping exercise and removed.

It had lived more than a hundred years undisturbed, but could not last 6 years after being 'discovered by Men. But this is another story for another time.

Mid-September 07 saw the emergence of a new Spirit Tree in Jurong West Street Street 42.

The Monkey God Tree.

The discovery of 2 monkey-like figures (a baby & an adult monkey) in a tree had the typical Singaporean scrampering to Jurong West vicinity, in the hope of striking it lucky with 4D numbers by praying to the Tree (read a similar article here).

(The Monkey God Tree, are those really monkey spirits?)
(The other 2 major 'deities')

(Crowd around the Tree)

You can see and hear the STRAITS TIMES 'live' interview here.

You can also catch all the stories as they appear in the English Press in our API Forums.

So.... is there a Monkey God in that tree?

This case does not need API to solve. Tree Experts from the National Parks Board (Nparks) told us in a STRAITS TIMES interview that:-

"The tree is a species of the African Mahogany and is planted to provide shade, particularly in parks and along major roads and expressways. It is a hardy tree that grows well under most soil conditions........The tree was involved in several minor accidents over the years. The uneven bark surface at the base of the tree trunk is the result of callusing, a natural reaction in which the tree grows new bark over injured areas."

(The African Mahogany trees, lining the roadside of Jurong West)

So the faces and figures on the trunk of the Monkey God Tree are just natural reaction of the tree healing process. So why do we need to attach a paranormal answer to it?

But people tend to believe in them, as we can read from our forums in the case of the betel tree and parasite tree in Penang, Malaysia.

(The face on the Penang betel tree)

Let's take a closer look at the Monkey figure.

Let's first take a look at the face. Could it be explained?

I found afew older faces, just some trees away.

What about the body, the shape that gave it the monkey-look?

A closer look at the Monkey Tree revealed that un-noticed by most people, a bigger shape 3x the size of the Monkey body lay just a feet away, on the other side of the tree trunk.



(To solve the Monkey God case, just place your thumb and cover the head of the 'monkey'... and what you have.. is just .... a tree with a bad bark! No ghost-busting gadgets needed here.)

As you can see, the 'bigger body' is practically ignored by all the worshipers, because it is 'missing a head'.

The monkey head and body are simply the healing process of the tree as it tried to repair its worn/injured trunk/bark by growing new trunk material over the 'wound'.


(a tree repairing itself)


People tend to look for familiar shapes in whatever they see, as their mind try to orientate to make sense of what he/she is looking at.

Here's an example:- Do the picture on the back of the bus (below the EPSON letters) appeared like a girl's face with short, green hair?

Click on the picture to find out! So what did you see?

Thus our human minds can be easily decieved by what we saw.

Here's 2 Spirit Trees, found by yours truly, I would like to introduce you to:-


What can you see in this tree?

A skeleton? A scorpion? Ghost? Anyone want to know where this tree is?

And this one? Is this an Elephant?

Trees are great surviviors, and great healers of themselves.

Trees are long-lived entities on our planet, and if there is 1 thing to wonder about them... is perhaps if they could record the passing of Time....

I would end this entry with part of a poem I wrote once ...

Have you wonder about the stars

And what they really are

Are they just pinholes in the sky

Or something too bizzare for our mind

Have you wonder about the trees

And how they seem to whisper so silently

In golden voices about golden things

of long gone heroes and forgotten dreams...

Written by Charles Goh

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 21:58