Object Lesson

Theme:  Creation

Brazil Nuts - A Marvel of Creation


Bring some Brazil nuts.

You could have a volunteer come up and see if he or she recognizes what they are.

Brazil nuts have great nutritional value.  These nuts have a very high selenium content (about 2,500 times the amount found in other nuts).  Selenium is a powerful antioxidant which has been found to help slow the aging process, stimulate the immune system and protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

The incredible Brazil nut tree is a prominent resident of the Amazon jungle. This tree grows to a height of 150 feet.  Some Brazil nut trees are over 1000 years old.

Brazil nuts are actually not nuts at all. True nuts are designed with two halves, such as peanuts, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. A seed is a single unit, not two halves. The Brazil nut should be called the Brazil seed since it does not have two halves.

The nuts (seeds) form in a pod about the size of a large coconut. The pod is rock hard and can weigh up to five pounds. To be struck on the head with a five pound pod dropping from 150 feet in the air could be a fatal experience! The pods are so tough that they do not even split open when they hit the ground. Of course if the pods are not opened the nuts (seeds) cannot get out and no new Brazil nut trees can start to grow.

So how does God open up this pod? In the Amazon rainforest there is a small rodent called an Agouti. It looks a little like a guinea pig. This is the animal that our Creator designed and made to open the pods and pull out the nuts. The Agouti likes to eat Brazil nuts and has the knowledge and equipment to do just that. When it finds a pod it chews into it and makes a hole large enough to get the nuts out. It has been said that an incredible characteristic of the Agouti is that each one chews its own signature hole into the pod. The hole is to the Agouti like our fingerprint is to us. Some holes are round, some oval, some star-shaped, some almost square, some large, some small.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE6XUcq4g38 for a fascinating video on the Agouti.

When the little rodent pulls out the nuts it eats some and buries others thinking it will retrieve the buried ones later. A few nuts are forgotten and sprout and grow into mature trees. These mature trees bloom with special flowers. The flower has its pollen in a sealed spiral tube. Only one insect has the knowledge and necessary equipment to get at the pollen. That insect is the Brazil nut long-tongued bee. This special bee has strong jaws and a very long tongue. With its strong jaws it holds open the closed end of the flower and inserts its long tongue down the spiral tube to the pollen. As it goes from flower to flower it pollinates the Brazil nut tree.

So in order to have Brazil nuts in the jungle there must be the mature tree, the Agouti and the Brazil nut long-tongued bee. But that is not all. For the bees to reproduce, a particular species of orchid must be present. Before Mrs. Bee will invite Mr. Bee into her house so that there can be baby bees, he must find the special orchid and get the scent of that one species of orchid on himself. Only then will Mrs. Bee play hostess to Mr. Bee! Without the orchid scent Mr. Bee will be rejected and soon there will be no bees to pollinate the Brazil nut tree.

What then is required to have Brazil nut trees growing and reproducing in the Amazon rainforest? There must be the tree, the Agouti, the Brazil nut long-tongued bee and the particular species of orchid! If any one of these is missing there will be no Brazil nut.

All these four things were needed for us to have Brazil nuts. This amazing teamwork between tree, mammal, bee and orchid did not happen by accident. It did not happen by blind chance. It didnít evolve by random processes. All four had to be present and fully functional at the beginning. Our Father planned it all.

Next time you eat a Brazil nut, thank God that He is such a wonderful Creator.

Adapted from The Evolution of a Creationist by Jobe Martin, 2008 updated edition, pages 312-313.

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