Giant Skeleton Hoax
Emails with attached images supposedly depicting the skeletal remains of gigantic humans claim that the skeletons were unearthed in the Arabian or Indian deserts (Full commentary below.)
Example 1: (Submitted, July 2004)
FYI. Just got this Email, only God knows better about this story, but check it out:
Recent gas exploration activity in the south east region of the Arabian desert uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Arabian desert is called the Empty Quarter, or in Arabic, ‘Rab-Ul-Khalee’. The discovery was made by the Aramco Exploration team. As God states in the Quran that He had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. These were the people of Aad where Prophet Hud was sent. They were very tall, big, and very powerful, such that they could put their arms around a tree trunk and uproot it. Later these people, who were given all the power, turned against God and the Prophet and transgressed beyond all boundaries set by God. As a result they were destroyed.
Ulema’s of Saudi Arabia believe these to be the remains of the people of Aad. Saudi Military has secured the whole area and no one is allowed to enter except the ARAMCO personnel. It has been kept in secrecy, but a military helicopter took some pictures from the air and one of the pictures leaked out into the internet in Saudi Arabia. See the attachment and note the size of the two men standing in the picture in comparison to the size of the skeleton !!
Example 2: (Submitted, July 2007)
Subject: FW: Legendary skeleton
Recent exploration activity in the northern region of India uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size. This region of the Indian desert is called the Empty Quarter.
The exploration team also found tablets with inscriptions that stated that our Gods of Indian mythologicalyore, Brahma, had created people of phenomenal size the like of which He has not created since. They were very tall, big, and very powerful, such that they could put their arms around a tree trunk and uproot it. They were created to bring order among us since we were always fighting with each other. One of he sons of Bhima of the Pandava brothers is also thought of to have been carrying these genes. Later these people, who were given all the power turned against all our Gods and transgressed beyond all boundaries set. As a result they were destroyed by God Shiva.
The Geo Exploration team believes these to be the remains of those people.
Govt of India has secured the whole area and no one is, allowed to enter except the NatGeo personnel.
This classic leg-pull has now been circulating via email, blogs and forums for several years and has even been published by some news outlets as factual. In fact, the “giant skeleton” images that travel with these messages are not photographs depicting real discoveries but instead clever manipulations. A lot of recipients would be quick to doubt the authenticity of the images. However, submissions indicate that the high quality of the fake images coupled with the vaguely plausible explanations that accompany them are apparently enough to convince many recipients that the “discoveries” are genuine.
So far, there have been two popular variants of the hoax. The first variant (Example 1 above) claims that a skeleton of a gigantic human was discovered during a gas exploration in the south east region of the Arabian desert and sports an attached photograph to “prove” the claim. However, the cleverly created image of the giant skeleton is actually an entry in an image manipulation contest by artist “IronKite” in which participants were instructed to create “a picture of an archaeological discovery that looks so real, had it not appeared at Worth1000, people might have done a double take”.
The message tries to add legitimacy to its fanciful tale by referencing the Quran’s Prophet Hud and the people of Aad (or “Ad”). Some Islamic references do claim that the people of Aad were thought to be giants. However, other material describes them as having a “stature tall among the nations” or as simply being “physically well-built”. The Christian Bible also makes mention of giants.
The second variant (Example 2 above) moves the “action” to the Indian desert and replaces the Islamic references with mentions of characters in Indian mythology, including Brahma and Bhima’s son. According to Indian legend, Bhima’s son Ghatotkacha was a powerful fighter with magical abilities, although he is not generally described as a giant. Other than the change in mythological references, much of the wording in the two hoax variants is virtually identical.
The Indian based variant includes IronKite’s image along with three other giant skeleton pictures that also originate from the same Worth1000 contest. The second picture in the set, complete with giant revolver, is titled everlasting rest and was created by amaranto. The third image is an entry simply named Giant Skeleton and was created by Anakinnnn. And the fourth image in the set is named Uncovered Giant and was created by Trit.
The hoax was apparently republished by several media outlets in Indian, Bangladesh and elsewhere. A scan of one of these newspaper articles is included in one version of the hoax email. Such articles have given the hoax undeserved credibility.
IronKite’s creation has even been featured in a YouTube video entitled “Proof evolution is an evil lie from satan (the devil)”. The video’s creator uses IronKite’s giant skeleton, along with other dubious images, as “proof” that giants once lived on Earth. The inclusion of a well-documented hoax image, in addition to a number of logical flaws, seriously undermines the video maker’s credibility and has earned him the ridicule of his fellow YouTubers.
The image and “Arabian desert discovery” description is also included in another fanciful YouTube video warning of impending disaster for Earth. Again, the blatant use of a well-known hoax as “proof” decimates what little credibility the video had to begin with.
Even if you do believe that a race of giants once walked the Earth, you can rest assured that these photographs do not depict some of their remains. In their original context as part of a Worth1000 contest, the status of the images as purely fictional “archaeological discoveries” is quite clear. Apparently, however, some unknown prankster stole IronKite’s image from its original setting, added some seemingly relevant text, and sent it on its way. Perhaps due largely to the talent of its creator, the image has circulated ever since. In due course, others have apparently added more Worth1000 images to the hoax messages.
The photo was created by altering an actual photo of a Cornell University excavation of a mastodon skeleton outside Hyde Park, New York, where the Paleontological Research Institution and the Cornell Department of Geological Sciences are excavating the skeleton of a mastodon. Real photos below.
IronKite digitally superimposed a human skeleton over the mastodon-dig photo, he told National Geographic News in December 2007. IronKite started with an aerial photo of a mastodon excavation in Hyde Park, New York, in 2000. He then digitally superimposed a human skeleton over the beast’s remains. The later addition of a digging man presented the biggest technical challenge. “If you look, he’s holding a yellow-handled shovel, but there’s nothing on the end,” IronKite said. “Originally, the spade end was there. But [it] looked like it was occupying the exact same space as the skeleton’s temple, making the whole thing look fake. “Now it looks like he’s just holding a stick, and people don’t notice. It’s funny.” IronKite also altered the color of the man’s clothing to create a “uniform tie-in” with the white-shirted observer peering down from the wooden platform. The two figures work to exaggerate the scale of the skeleton, he added. If you also look in the bottom right corner of the original mastodon-dig photo, you can see a tusk of the animal that IronKite left in his altered ones. IronKite said he’s tickled that the picture—which took only about an hour and a half to create—has generated so much Internet attention. “I laugh myself silly when some guy claims to know someone who was there, or even goes so far as to claim that he or she was there when they found the skeleton and took the picture,” IronKite said. “Sometimes people seem so desperate to believe in something that they lie to themselves, or exaggerate in order to make their own argument stronger.”