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Alligator Bite!  

As the wrangler pried open the 250 pound alligator's mouth, I was creeped out by the sight of so many teeth.  But that sensation paled compared to the visceral sound of its jaws snapping shut.

Imagine slamming an empty gallon-sized can as hard as you can on a cement driveway.  That's sort of the sound we heard at the Everglades Holiday Park in South Florida. 

Scientists tell us a human being can munch on a steak exerting between 150 and 200 pounds of pressure per square inch.  Animals such as hyenas, lions and tigers bite with a force of around 1,000 psi.

By contrast, scientists have measured alligators chomping force at well over 2000 pounds per square inch.  You heard me right.  Alligators have ten times the crunching power of people (and growing up, you thought getting bit by your baby brother was bad!). 

Despite its massive mandible, the alligator has a weakness.  This was carefully exploited by the reptile expert hosting the show.  As we watched, he easily (warily) kept the alligator's mouth closed with just one hand.  All that force, all that potential for destruction was kept in check by the hand of one man.

Impressive as all that number crunching really is (forgive the bad pun), the immense power of an alligator's mouth is nothing compared to yours.  Or mine. I do not refer here to pounds of pressure per square inch.  A better unit of measurement might be pounds of pain per square inch.  Or pounds of hurt per destructive word.

Such potential for evil as ours ought never to be left unattended. Perhaps our daily prayer should be that of David's in Psalms 141:3:  “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth.  Keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Only in living life this way can we safely say to the deadly beast within us, "See you later, alligator!"


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016