The Sewage Cover that Became an OraclThe Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) has the engraving of a human face. According to legend, it is meant to resemble Triton, the son of the sea god Poseidon. However, curiously, the statue filled the role of a "polygraph" for hundreds of years in order to discern if someone was lying.
Legend has it that if you put your hand into the mouth of the Bocca della Verità and say something, the statue will distinguish truth from falsehood. The rumor strengthened in the Middle Ages, this mouth was used as a real machine to verify the credibility of speakers who, if they lied, received a bite to the outstretched hand. Historical sources have tried to give a credible explanation. One theory is that some priests hid scorpions inside it in order to frighten liars into telling the truth.
The statue is located under the Church of Santa Maria in the center of Rome. It is probably a remnant of an ancient fountain in Rome from the first century, but this is only one hypothesis about the origin of the sculpture. It is also possible that it covered a Roman sewer that survived to this day and received an impressive status. Hard to believe but true, the Romans had a sewage system, even in those early days…
The sculpture was also mentioned in the cinema. It was in the 1953 film "Holiday in Rome," starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In the film, the hero tells the heroine about the widespread belief around the statue. She puts her hand into the statue's mouth and rejoices in peace. When he puts his hand in, his hand is "bitten" ... until he exposes it to the heroine.