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Faked photo of  a giant squid found in California.

Faked photo of a giant squid supposedly found In California.

Screenshot from Lightly Braised Turnip, www.lightlybraisedturnip.com

Jane J. Lee

National Geographic

Published January 10, 2014

An image of a monster 160-foot-long (49-meter-long) giant squid made the social media rounds yesterday, but fear not—it's a hoax.

The photo of the enormous deep-sea denizen after it washed on to a beach in Santa Monica, California, accompanied a satirical article on the website The Lightly Braised Turnip this week.

À la Godzilla, the article claims the squid was a victim of radiation—supposedly from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. (See "True Facts About Ocean Radiation and the Fukushima Disaster.")

People began to share the photo of the supposed cephalopod on Facebook and Twitter, and thus the fake giant came to life.

Staff at the rumor-research website snopes.com did a drive-by of the beach in Santa Monica and reported no signs of the giant squid. "Nor did any of the many local news outlets cover any such topic," they write.

David Emery writes on About.com that the giant squid in the photograph is actually a 30-foot-long (9-meter-long) giant squid that washed ashore in Spain in October 2013.

The fake photo combined a blown-up image of that squid and a picture of people standing on a beach.

"From a pure photographic standpoint, what stands out to me as a red flag is the squid's shadow on the left—actually all of its shadows," said Sherry Brukbacher, news photo editor at National Geographic. "This makes me question the image immediately."

"It's more likely the animal's body would be flush with the ground and not sticking up like that, unless it was hardened and stiff," she said. "Also, all the edges of the squid are uniformly smooth—unnaturally so."

Giant squid are large enough to battle sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)—sometimes the squid win, and sometimes they end up in the belly of a beast. (See "Rare Photos: Giant Squid Eaten by Sperm Whale.")

Charles Paxton, a researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland who studies how long giant squid can grow, notes that a scientific paper published in 1887 recorded a giant squid 55 feet (16.8 meters) long found in New Zealand.

Although Paxton thinks this is a fairly credible account, "the tentacles are stretchy so there can be error," he wrote in an email.

Fifty-five feet (16.8 meters) is still nowhere close to the supposed 160-foot (49-meter) length of the giant squid that's taken over the Internet.

And we're not likely to see a 160-foot-long (49-meter-long) squid any time soon, Paxton noted.

"I think if 160-foot squids were around, we would have found 80-, 90-, and 100-foot squids, and we haven't," he said.

Follow Jane J. Lee on Twitter.

58 comments
Lakshmi V
Lakshmi V

I just can't believe this..............

Sar Smith
Sar Smith

How big do they get?  As big as Cthulhu of course!

Ernie Mink
Ernie Mink

Actually there are confirmed sightings in the polar areas that are 100 feet, so YES THEY HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED, just not that fake photo type. Yes that is a hoax, BUT it is not a hoax squid can get much larger than they claim.

Jarod Castillo
Jarod Castillo

Well yeah, that looks fake as balls. Wouldn't exactly take an expert to figure that out..

Fred Law
Fred Law


Hi Folks,


It seemed unlikely that the individual who "discovered"


this "gigantic squid" 


failed to contact the Guinness Book of Records.


Hmmmm!!!


QED.


Paul Tomlinson
Paul Tomlinson

ha ha you can tell from the very bad retouching attempt that its a fake.

Tracy Bower Hince
Tracy Bower Hince

Correction to my last post on this.  It's a stupid hoax that some crazy person put on Facebook.   

Tracy Bower Hince
Tracy Bower Hince

Correction to my last post.  This is a stupid hoax.  It was never in the local news.  It's sad that people have spread lies with these crazy news stories like this.  Thanks, Lee for sharing the truth article!

Ajin C Saji
Ajin C Saji

people who paste hoaxed pic is a burden to people who are excited about weird things

Loraine Mesaros
Loraine Mesaros

I see some blood poor squid don't want it to made into sushi :(

Mel Nellis Haynie
Mel Nellis Haynie

Just a quick reminder of social media etiquette... before you share, verify.

Abe Tejada Sr.
Abe Tejada Sr.

..absolutely, it is a hoax.

1. The author was correct that the shadows were 'photoshopped'. Those people standing have a dark part on their left sides as shadow from the sun, but nothing on the squids tentacles.

2. Take a scale and measure the height of one person granting he was a 6 footer, the use that as a scale to measure the length of the squid.

I bet it will not reach the 49 meters lenth.

Marilyn Tam
Marilyn Tam

Fake images again... Well if radioactive will makes creatures larger then why it didn't happened on human. Radioactive leads to gene mutation, rather than only sizing up.

chen linda
chen linda

Loss of photographic knowledge sometimes will influence our judge to the authenticity of the photo.

MA Haq
MA Haq

 Better research before believing social media.


Chris Neumann
Chris Neumann

Aside from all the obvious photographic mistakes:- focus, shadows, resolution, non-sagging squid body, etc; there is the glaring white demarcation line extending into the water. How on earth would you achieve that?

Sue Jobs
Sue Jobs

The giant squid is too light from other scene, how can so many people believed in...

nahed h.
nahed h.

Right before I opened this page, I was thinking about what a headache photoshop must cause National Geographic, and how can they sort out between a picture reflecting reality and a manipulated one. Most pictures now have some kind of manipulation, especially colors.

It seems that man has now surpassed the creator of this Universe when you compare the finished product with the real scene or landscape.. 

Ernesto Brodtmann
Ernesto Brodtmann

I think that like the recently dead oarfish found , this squid died because two deep underwater seismic plaques , had activity , and these animals are very sensitive to those movements , and so they tried to escape, and so they died. By the way, maybe the squid was 30 feet and NOT 160 feet. Thats is hoax

William DeCianni
William DeCianni

Get outside, connect with your families, your friends.  Walk your dog.   Get outside and out of your heads.   Live.  If you live in your minds all the time, on the cursed internet, television, you overload yourself.   


When will you decide to swim in the middle of the ocean or water hundreds of feet deep?   Respect all of life and you will carry the most powerful shield and weapon against fear in all of infinity.  


Try it.  

William DeCianni
William DeCianni

I have the 1979 world book of records.  One of the largest specimens was actually 6.5 TONS and it washed ashore around the turn of the last century.  I think it was the Smithsonian actually did a DNA sampling of it years later on the tissue and found it to be Octopus.  There was also a 4700 pound squid which was also recovered.   In 1979 the word documentation had more meaning and weight.


You live in an internet age of instant gratification.  


A squid of this size could not enter water this shallow, it would be in water hundreds of feet deep or more.  


There have been hundreds of accounts in history of giant squid and oct attacking whales and ships.  The striations on the old wooden ships is a lot like whale bottoms.  They were mortal enemies because whales would eat them and then they would try to return the favor when they could.


There are more recent accounts as in world war II.   Scientists do not want to have you scared of the natural world so they hold it back, the business men want the truth held back for another reason. Access to the worlds resources, so you are not protecting and respecting other life on earth.   The future of all life on earth depends upon it.



JW Hatch
JW Hatch

It is so easy to fall to these stories , but this one

seemed a little too far fetched to believe and 

nobody else was reporting on it .

Dan Xie
Dan Xie

well, it looks like someone went photoshopping

Lisa Stone
Lisa Stone

This is not true. this is why its hard to know what is true or false. and it freaks a lot of people out.

Lisa Stone
Lisa Stone

More misinformation to scare us.

Wang Chung
Wang Chung

@Marilyn Tam Humans are more cautious about radiation then other animals. Obviously if a pregnant women was exposed to radiation, doctors would monitor that baby, and she probably would abort having it.

Chad Sweeney
Chad Sweeney

@William DeCianni some will "overload" themselves, and some will learn about what is actually going on in the world.


Doing research online offers much more news than mainstream media, or what you will find walking your dog.  Sure there's lots of BS online, but you can learn to avoid it, just like you learn to avoid stepping in that dog's ****.


Try it.

Lewis L
Lewis L

@William DeCianni 

Your attempt to sound intelligent is laughable.  Many of the old world record books are based on almost no scientific evidence.  Great example, when I was a kid I had a 1989 version claiming the largest great white was something on the order of 30+ feet.  That was based on absolutely no scientific evidence, rather it was based entirely on anecdotal evidence.  

Chad Sweeney
Chad Sweeney

@Wang Chung@Marilyn Tam, caution has nothing to do with anything.  Humans have been unwillingly exposed to radiation on massive scales, time and time again.  Remember when the US used the A-bomb on Japan?  How about the Chernobyl accident? Or even more recently, all of the genetic damage done (and on a more massive scale than Japan) by US Depleted Uranium in Fallujah.  Plenty of malformed babies, but still no giants.

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