The National Geographic Society has not discovered ancient giant humans, despite rampant reports and pictures.
A digitally altered photograph created in 2002 shows a reclining giant surrounded by a wooden platform—with a shovel-wielding archaeologist thrown in for scale.
By 2004 the “discovery” was being blogged and emailed all over the world—”Giant Skeleton Unearthed!”—and it’s been enjoying a revival in 2007.
The messages come from around the globe—Portugal, India, El Salvador, Malaysia, Africa, the Dominican Republic, Greece, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya. But they all ask the same question: Is it true?
Helping to fuel the story’s recent resurgence are a smattering of media outlets that have reported the find as fact.
“Recent exploration activity in the northern region of India uncovered a skeletal remains of a human of phenomenal size,” the report read.
The 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.”
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.
Voice editor P. Deivamuthu admitted to National Geographic News that his publication was taken in by the fake reports.
The monthly, which is based in Mumbai (Bombay), published a retraction after readers alerted Deivamuthu to the hoax, he said.
Arabian GiantVariations 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.