Five years ago, "IronKite" submitted this wonderful photo illustration to a Worth1000.com Photoshop contest on the theme of "Archaeological Anomalies." The powerful picture was transformed into an Internet urban legend about the National Geographic Society's discovery of the remains of giant humans in India. Several media outlets reported the story as fact. To this day, the National Geographic Society continues to receive international inquiries about this race of giants. National Geographic News reports on the myth behind the meme:
(One) story went on to say the discovery was made by a "National Geographic Team (India Division) with support from the Indian Army since the area comes under jurisdiction of the Army."Link to National Geographic, Link to Snopes entry
The account added that the team also found tablets with inscriptions that suggest the giant belonged to a race of superhumans that are mentioned in the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic poem from about 200 B.C...
Variations of the giant photo hoax include alleged discovery of a 60- to 80-foot long (18- to 24-meter) human skeleton in Saudi Arabia. In one popular take, which likewise first surfaced in 2004, an oil-exploration team is said to have made the find.
Here the skeleton is held up as evidence of giants mentioned in Islamic, rather than Hindu, scriptures.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.