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image Kentaro Mori of Liquito sent me this picture (click thumbnail to enlarge) of a very fat dog. He says that he found it on a Japanese website. My hunch would be that there's no photo trickery involved here. It really is a very fat dog. Probably comes from the same household as Munchkin the Monster Cat.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 25, 2005
Comments (54)
image If this story wasn't in the NY Times, I wouldn't believe that it was true (though I do see that it's actually an AP story picked up by the Times). Patrick Lawler went to the dentist about a toothache and found out he had a four-inch nail lodged inside his head. It came from a nail gun he had been using a few days before. He hadn't realized that the gun had shot a nail inside his head! The x-ray of the nail inside his head (see thumbnail to right) reminds me of the x-ray picture (below) that I have on my Hoax Photo Test showing a fork inside a woman's stomach. In her case she swallowed the fork while inserting it down her throat in order to remove a cockroach that had somehow got lodged down there. True story.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 20, 2005
Comments (18)
The Monkey Methods blog has posted pictures of a young Bill Gates supposedly posing for a Teen Beat photospread back in 1983. I'm willing to believe that the photos are real pictures of a young Bill. But I'm not willing to believe that they're from Teen Beat, not unless more evidence is provided, such as a scan of the article itself. Some of the people who have posted comments on the Monkey Methods blog have pointed out problems with the claim that these photos are from 1983. For instance, there's clearly an Apple Computer a Macintosh visible in the first picture. But the Apple Macintosh only began to be sold in 1984. Plus, why in the world would Teen Beat have wanted to do a photospread of Bill Gates?
image image

Update: These pictures were taken in 1985 by celebrity photographer Deborah Feingold shortly after the release of Windows 1.0. This information comes from Corbis.com, which has these photos in their database. There's no evidence that they ever appeared in Teen Beat.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Jan 17, 2005
Comments (24)
image I don't know if these pictures are real, in the sense of whether they really show tourists sunning themselves while people try to clean up tsunami damage around them. Maybe the pictures were taken at some other time, in a totally different context. But they certainly look like tourists trying to act as if nothing happened while all around them is a wasteland. Unbelievable.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 12, 2005
Comments (47)
image Snopes posted a photo (click to enlarge) that's going around accompanied by this text:

Be sure and open the picture for a shock of your life to see what the tsunami looked like just before hitting Puket, Thailand. This picture is not a fake. It appears to have been taken from a hi-rise building window in downtown Phuket Thailand. The power of nature is hard to comprehend, especially the destructiveness of water.

Snopes says the status of the picture is undetermined, but I'd have a hard time believing it's real. First of all, is that actually downtown Phuket? I've never been there, so I couldn't say, but all the pictures of Thailand I've seen show it being a lot greener... a lot more vegetation. Second, almost every account of the tsunami I've read said that it didn't look like the classic hollywood image of a tidal wave towering above the land... which is exactly what this picture looks like. The wave in this picture is nearly as high as the tallest buildings, which would make it at least 100 feet high (or even higher). Of course, if this picture is real, it's pretty incredible.
Update: The cars are driving on the wrong side of the road for this to be a picture taken in Thailand.
image Update 2 (1/19/05): This picture actually shows a harbor view of Antofagosta, Chile (as seen in the thumbnail to the right). The large wave has obviously been photoshopped in.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 04, 2005
Comments (47)
image A few days ago the Calgary Herald ran on its front page this dramatic photo of a tsunami wave crashing over a surprised group of people, along with the headline 'Tsunami death toll could pass 100,000'. The photo soon appeared elsewhere, such as on the start-up page of AOL. The problem is not that the photo itself is fake. It's not. It really does show a real tsunami wave. The problem is that it doesn't have anything to do with the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. As Nicole Bogdas of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel discovered:

This is a two-year-old Reuters photo of a tsunami in China. You might remember the event: a bunch of people went to watch the waves and it turned out to be bigger than they thought. Anyway, the doctor gave the photo to the mayor of Calgary--he'd saved it for fundraising purposes. The Mayor showed it during a presentation on tsunami aid and the herald asked if they could have it thinking it was from this tsunami.

The Herald apologized once it realized the error.
Update: Tamandua points out in the comments that this is a wave produced by a tidal bore, not a tsunami.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 04, 2005
Comments (4)
image The Oregon Statesman Journal has an article about that photo of a soldier in Iraq tending a small plot of grass (which I posted here back in October). They identify the soldier as Warrant Officer Brook Turner stationed at Camp Cooke north of Baghdad. They even provide his email address in case you want to send him a happy New Year's message. Plus, they mention the Museum of Hoaxes in the article. The weird date on the photo which had everyone confused was apparently just a result of not resetting the camera's date after the batteries had been changed. So that's one mystery cleared up. Officer Turner, who's preparing to come home from Iraq soon to his home in Hawaii, seems pretty laid back about the whole episode, remarking that "Everyone seems to be a little more excited about it than me... I just planted some grass -- nothing big." (Thanks to Dwight Mears for forwarding me the article)
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 31, 2004
Comments (10)
Here's a new ghost photo that's begun to do the email rounds. To me it looks like a simple double exposure... but maybe it really is the ghost of Mary's Grandfather. In which case, sell him on eBay!!
Here's the text that accompanies the photo. Click photo to enlarge (thanks to Jennifer for sending this to me):
image This picture is soo freaky..... My co-worker Mary that lives in stockton bought her sister a digital camera for X-mas. Her sister took a picture of their niece and if you look behind the chair the niece is sitting on you will see Mary's Grandfather who past away 2 months ago in October 04. Remember this picture was took on X-mas day morning and I was also with Mary when she bought the camera at Circuit City the day after Thanksgiving. Her Grandfather was creamated and his ashes are at Mary's home. When I saw this picture it gave me the CHILLS!!! If you can make the picture bigger so you can get a better look at him.
Lydia
Categories: Paranormal, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 31, 2004
Comments (37)
Here's a picture that's doing the email rounds. The picture is real (no digital manipulation). The only fake part about it is that the perspective of the shot makes the two planes look like they're about to hit each other, while in reality they're 750 feet apart. The photo was taken at San Francisco Airport on August 15, 2004. The photo can be found on Airliners.net. The photographer, Ben Wang, has added this note to it: "The two planes appear to be touching! The 757 is on final for 28L while the 747 is for 28R. The runways are 750 ft apart, so there is still plenty of room between them. Incidentally, Lufthansa 455 is seen here returning to SFO due to an oil leak and eventual shutdown of the number 2 engine. Note rudder is deflected to the right compensating for the failed engine on the left side." (via Liquito)
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 10, 2004
Comments (24)
image There should be an award like the Darwin Awards, except instead of being given to people who die in stupid ways it would be given to people who display extreme gullibility. If there was such an award, Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, would be this week's candidate for it. During the keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld Show he displayed a picture, supposedly from 1954, of what the RAND Corporation imagined that a home computer would look like in 2004 (see the thumbnail: click to enlarge). His point was that people fifty years ago could hardly imagine what the computers of today would look like, and we can't imagine what computers will look like fifty years from now. But the picture he showed wasn't fifty years old. It's a hoax photo that's been going around the internet for the past three months. It began its life as an entry in a Fark Photoshop contest (theme: "Photoshop this mock-up of a submarine's maneuvering Room"... this photo easily won the contest). Apparently, McNealy hadn't yet learned where the photo really came from. Now, I'm sure, he knows.
Update: Here's a Popular Mechanics article about the 1954 Home Computer image and its creator, a Danish software designer named Troels Eklund Andersen.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Technology
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 09, 2004
Comments (8)
image Wayne Pryde believes that he has taken the first photograph ever to capture the image of a meteorite striking the earth. He was taking pictures of clouds when he happened to get this photograph of what might be a grain-of-sand-sized meteorite hitting the Earth. But meteor experts aren't so sure. They're not yet crying hoax (Mr. Pryde swears that he hasn't digitally altered the photo), but they don't think the photo shows a meteor impact. However, they have no idea what else it might be. The Astronomy Picture of the Day site has put up a hi-res version of the image and is asking for help from the internet community. Maybe somebody online can figure out what this thing is.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Science
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 08, 2004
Comments (15)
Here's another photo that's doing the rounds on the internet. It's captioned 'Tank Silencer'. I have no idea what this device is actually used for, but somehow I don't think it's a tank silencer. So this would be a case of 'real picture, false caption.' Click image for larger version. (via Hell in a Handbasket) image
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 30, 2004
Comments (26)
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