The Jesus Christ Lizard is so named because whenever anyone sees its ability to run on water they quite simply have to point and yell ‘Jesus Christ what the blazes does he think he’s doing!’
Jesus of course was also famous for turning water into wine, which didn’t damage getting him a few followers back in the day I’d say! The Jesus Christ Lizard would of course be a lot more popular in civilized society if he could turn his hand to this particular miracle. Though I have to say I’m rather unimpressed as I’ve already turned the family fortunes, a country estate and a townhouse in Kensington into various types of booze.
These extraordinary Lizards are actually two species; the Common Basilisk and the Brown Basilisk a rather smashing group of little reptiles who are found from Central Mexico to Ecuador.
Basilisks have been appearing in bestiaries for centuries. Pliny the Elder described the Basilisk as a serpent that walks upright, with a breath so foul it kills the grass and breaks stones as it passes them. Leonardo da Vinci described it as being so utterly cruel that when it cannot kill animals by its baleful gaze it turns upon herbs and plants and withers them with a stare. Modern day erudite thinkers have described it as a bit like Lady Baroness Margaret Thatcher.
Obviously our smashing little chaps aren’t anything to do with whatever in God’s name those old beardy transvestites were yammering on about. The Jesus Christ Lizards are called a Basilisk (Latin: Little King) as it refers to the fold of skin on top of its head. Of course the most incredible thing about these wee fellows is that they can walk on water. The rainforest of the America’s is packed to the rafters with creatures that don’t care much for religious lizards of any denomination and will quite happily have them as brunch rather than be amused at their apparent miracle working. So the Basilisk has learned to run… faster than the French can retreat. They run solely on their back legs, and their feet splay out to reveal frog-like webbing that stops them from breaking the surface tension of the water, incredibly they stay can stay on top of the wet stuff for as far as twenty metres… remarkable stuff!
Basilisks can also cater rather-marvellously for up to 5000 punters, point out burning shrubbery and do a rather nifty line in cleansing lepers… but one thought that rather irrelevant.