An urban hoax

Nupur Mital (‘11)/Eastside Staff

When a rendition of “Jack and the Beanstalk” can no longer send shivers running down a spine and cause eruptions of blood-curdling screams, news of real giant skeletons lying in your backyard just might do the job.

 

Indeed, since 2004, e-mails and blogs have showcased photographs of a giant human skeleton buried in the ground, accompanied by archeologists to put the image in perspective. The Indian newspaper Hindu Voice printed an article in March 2007 claiming the discovery of this skeleton by the National Geographic Society and the Indian Army. This article, and others like it, further fueled the surge of interest by an alarming population of viewers.

 

However, in an era of technological ingenuity, it should come as no surprise that these photographs were nothing more than digital manipulations, made by combining various other images and adjusting their respective sizes and coloring. The creator of the most commonly used of these photographs has stated that it was created for use in an online contest.

 

Long after this contest website was revealed and Hindu Voice published a retraction of its article, certain groups still struggle in an effort to find other proof that the giant humans do indeed exist. The stories coincided with references in Hindu mythology to a race of superhuman beings and in Islamic scriptures to the creation of humans of phenomenal size.

 

Therefore, some religious fanatics set logical thinking aside and took the photographs as proof of their religious beliefs. Other viewers were undoubtedly intrigued by the news simply because the existence of such creatures is typically confined to childish folk tales.

 

This was neither the first nor the last successful hoax that displayed evidence of unreal beings in the world. Perpetuated by the media, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between a clever digital alteration and an incredible archeological breakthrough. It seems to  be that overexcited imaginations may push people to believe in those unlikely discoveries that are truly larger than life.