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What is the giant human skeleton hoax?

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Quick Answer

In 2004 and again in 2007, a photograph of a giant skeleton circulated on the Internet. Several articles claimed the photograph showed a discovery made by a National Geographic Society Team.

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The hoax was so pervasive that National Geographic received messages from around the world enquiring about the finding. In reality, the photograph was a digital manipulation created by a Canadian artist for a contest called Archaeological Anomalies. In fact, the photograph received third place in the contest. The artist had no part in the hoax and wished to remain anonymous. The hoax began in blogs and emails and eventually cropped up in an article in Hindu Voice, claiming the find was a collaboration between National Geographic and the Indian Army.

The photograph shows what appears to be a giant human skeleton with an archaeologist nearby for scale. The photograph actually began as an aerial shot of a mastodon skeleton excavation in Hyde Park, New York. The artist used digital tools to overlay a human skeleton over the mastodon and add a small human next to it. Despite having no part in it, the artist enjoyed the hoax, especially the many people who stepped forward and claimed to have actually been present at the excavation.

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