Rumours that spooked Phuket locals into believing the island was on the verge of armageddon came to an abrupt end yesterday when the latest hysteria about the island ''sinking'' proved to be nonsense.
In fact, many locals and tourists were shaking their heads in disbelief that so many were drawn into the hype.
Motorcycle taxi driver Sawang said he was amazed that people with much more education than him would believe such an absurd rumour.
"Just use your common sense and you will know that it is impossible," said Mr Sawang, a native to Patong Beach with a Prathom 4 education.
But as the rumour spread across the island, many tourists and Mr Sawang's customers decided to play it safe by leaving the island behind.
Since a 4.3-magnitude earthquake struck Phuket nearly two weeks ago, fears of earthquakes and tsunamis – among tourists and residents – heightened with the rumour that the island would face bad fortune and sink yesterday.
Mr Sawang had no idea where the rumour came from. The word was the two revered female warriors – Thao Thep Kasat Tri and Thao Sri Sunthon, who fought and saved Phuket from a Burmese invasion in the late 1700s – had told a person who communicates with spirits that the island would sink and people should leave.
Mr Sawang said he respected the two spirits but didn't believe the rumour because the island is too big to suddenly sink.
"It's not like a tree that you can cut down," Mr Sawang said.
The Bureau of Surrealist Ethnology was founded in July 2007 in Devon, UK. Our investigations encompass myth, legends, calendar customs and the ritual year, murder ballads, jokes and proverbs, dancing, graffiti, and all other outbreaks of the Marvellous in vernacular culture. This collectanea project brings together a wide range of data, from various sources, which all have one thing in common: poetry. These data in turn form the basis of our more theoretical elaborations and investigations.