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image I'm late to the party with this image (all the other hoax-related sites have had it up for a couple of weeks), but hey, I was on vacation, and the picture's too good to ignore. Anyway, no one seems to be able to say definitively whether it's real or a fake... or even where it originally came from. It does seem pretty unbelievable that a footprint would be that well defined through the wall of the abdomen. Plus, the foot seems awfully long. And what are those weird bumps in the middle of the foot? But on the other hand, I've heard some women say that this is possible.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Sep 29, 2004
Comments (73)
imageHere's a picture that's been doing the email rounds (for some time, I think). The question is, is it a photograph or a painting? Well, if you look closely you can see that the areas on the side are sketched in and not that detailed. So it's a painting. If you tilt your head to the left you can see the shape of a woman standing behind a child. But Mary Alice, who sent me the picture, says that if you tilt your head to the right you can also see a big bird's head pecking on an acorn (though she admits you might have to be a birder to see it right off the bat).
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 25, 2004
Comments (28)
Here's an interesting picture that's going around via email. I can't tell if it's real or photoshopped, but I'm inclined to say that it's real. I can't see any obvious signs of photoshopping, and dolphins do like to surf waves. However, I wouldn't like to be those guys staring down a school of dolphins about to crash down on top of them (though the perspective probably makes the people appear closer to the dolphins than they actually were). It reminds me of this other (real) picture of a dolphin in a wave. Click on the image for a slightly larger version. image
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 17, 2004
Comments (29)
Allison, who runs an ultimate frisbee company in Nottingham, just sent in these pictures of frisbee-playing animals. First we have Frisbee Croc.


Yeah, Frisbee Croc is a pretty obvious fake, but it's a cool photoshop nevertheless. The image comes from the Northern Territory Ultimate Frisbee site. Next we have Frisbee Horse.


As far as I can tell, these Frisbee Horse pictures are real. The name of the horse is Namoniet. He's an Egyptian Arabian Stallion trained by Jay Evans. Reportedly Namoniet loves to catch frisbees. The challenge is getting him to give them back. I'd love to show up at a park on a weekend where guys are playing frisbee with their dogs, challenge them to a match, and then bring out my frisbee-playing horse.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 04, 2004
Comments (5)
image You wouldn't want to run into this thing while out for a stroll in the woods. It's a 1000lb wild hog with 9-inch tusks, nicknamed Hogzilla, that hunting Guide Chris Griffin claims to have shot in Georgia last month. To put this in perspective, 500lb wild hogs are considered enormous. No one has ever heard of a 1000lb wild hog before, so it's raising a few eyebrows. Plus, the only evidence for the creature's existence is a picture Griffin snapped of himself posing beside it. He says that he buried the hog soon after killing it. In the picture of Griffin with Hogzilla, the hog sure looks big. Hogzilla could be real. Or the picture could be photoshopped, though I haven't seen a good enough copy of the image to make a judgement on that. Or Griffin could have obtained a large hog from a farm. In the hoax forum, posters have pointed out that tricks of perspective might make the hog look bigger than it really is... though even taking distorted perspective into account, that still seems like a big hog. If I were Griffin, I'd dig the skeleton up to prove that Hogzilla is real, because a picture alone is not indisputable evidence.
Update: A better quality picture of Hogzilla can be seen at, and David Emery notes that there have been previous stories about giant hogs caught in the wild.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 29, 2004
Comments (40)
image I found this photo over at J-Walk Blog. J-Walk can't tell if it's real or fake, and the people who have posted comments over there seem split also. I think the image itself has to be real, in the sense of not being digitally manipulated... simply because the image quality is too high. Typically photoshopped images tend to be low-quality, to hide any mistakes. One person claimed that the guy falling off his bike is actually a statue, which could be, though I haven't been able to find any verification of this. If it is a photo of a statue, that would put it in the same genre as the Splat photo (i.e. photos of life-like, bizarre statues). I'm not sure where the image is taken. Is that the Vienna Opera House?
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 26, 2004
Comments (14)
image Jim sent in this picture of his grandfather posing with an ear of corn, along with this explanation: "My grandfather, Frank Weed, who died in 1949, worked on the railroad for years. He bragged to the other men about how big the Iowa corn was but they wouldn’t believe it. So my father took a picture of him, and of an ear of corn, then cut the negative, pasted the other into the hole and printed it. After that, the criticism of my grandfather’s exaggerations were silenced!" Thanks, Jim!
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 14, 2004
Comments (4)
image About a week ago I posted a picture of a 'Big Hairy Fanny' bus that supposedly operates in Finland. I suspected the picture was a fake, and it turns out that my suspicion was correct. Quite a few people commented that they had seen other pictures of the same bus with the name 'Fücker' painted on the side, and today Iain Cartmill sent me a picture of this bus. A quick google search turned up lots of other images of it, as well as the website of the Fücker travel company, based in Germany (click on the 'Die Busflotte' button to see pictures of the bus in question). So the Fücker Bus is real, but the Big Hairy Fanny Bus is fake. The mystery is why anyone photoshopped the picture to read 'Big Hairy Fanny,' since the actual name is funnier than the hoax name.
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 13, 2004
Comments (17)
imageThis image may have been circulating around for a while, but I just got it in my email for the first time today. It purports to show the 'worst named bus company in Finland.' That would be the 'Big Hairy Fanny' Bus Line. I've come across oddly named bus lines before (specifically the Lamers bus company that operates in Wisconsin), but I refuse to believe that there's really a bus company in Finland calling itself Big Hairy Fanny. My suspicion is that the picture was photoshopped (it's pretty easy to insert text into pictures). Or perhaps there really is a bus touring around somewhere with 'Big Hairy Fanny' plastered on its side... though it would probably be some kind of joke, or something created for a movie. The final option (which, as I said, I seriously doubt) would be that a clueless Finnish bus company really did name itself 'Big Hairy Fanny'. But if that's the case, then why the umlauts over the two a's? Until I found out what the reality is behind this mystery photo, here's a poll:
Update: The picture is fake, but the real name of the bus is even better than the fake name. It's Fücker Bus Lines, based in Germany. More details here. Of the 366 people who responded to the poll (which I've now deactivated since the mystery is solved), 46% guessed the right answer, but 54% of you guessed wrong and thought the picture was real.
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 06, 2004
Comments (9)
image Nick and Emily discovered a ghoulish secret while perusing the latest edition of the Victoria's Secret catalog: a disembodied hand resting on the shoulder of one of the models. Very creepy. Either the model has a hand growing out of her shoulder, or there was originally someone standing next to her in the picture. The question is, was the hand left in there by mistake, or was it left in there on purpose... the mischievous signature of some disgruntled photo retoucher?
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 15, 2004
Comments (10)
image A photo of a curious fish with one head but two bodies has been doing the email rounds. Is it real, or is it Photoshop? It's real, if the Texas Reptiles website can be trusted (and they sound like they know what they're talking about to me). The picture shows a siamese Northern Pike caught by Donald Tayer on the Ottertail River in North Dakota. The Texas Reptiles site also has an interesting gallery of other 'freaks of nature,' including a photo of an 18-foot alligator supposedly found on a construction site in Florida (the picture is real, but the gator was only 13.5 feet long).
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 11, 2004
Comments (9)
image Kristen sent in this picture of a Kern County police car bearing a decal with the motto, "We'll Kick Your Ass... And take your doughnuts too." The picture is doing the email rounds (it's been doing them for about a year) accompanied by a caption that explains:
Kern County California police drove this car for 1 week before an officer noticed what the graphics company employee did on the passenger side of the car. The employee did this on his last day working for the graphics company before he retired.
The picture is actually real (i.e. it's not photoshopped), but the caption explaining it is incorrect, which is a pity because the real story is better than the phony story. The decals weren't created by a mischievous graphics company employee. They were created by the Kern County police themselves as an in-house joke. This all happened last year (2003). Of course, when the picture of the squad car began circulating via email, it soon found its way to a local newspaper, the editor of which called up the Sheriff to ask him what it was all about. The Sheriff at first denied all knowledge of it, saying it was a doctored photo, but later the truth leaked out: a Kern County police Commander had ordered the decals made. All the details of the story can be found in this KGET News article. Of course, it didn't take long for someone to start selling 'We'll Kick Your Ass' merchandise on cafepress. Or, if your dog's birthday is coming up, you can get him a 'We'll Bite Your Ass' t-shirt.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 09, 2004
Comments (4)
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