The National Geographic Society has not discovered ancient giant humans, despite rampant reports and pictures.
The hoax began with a doctored photo and later found a receptive online audience—thanks perhaps to the image's unintended religious connotations.
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 photo fakery might be obvious to most people. But the tall tale refuses to lie down even five years later, if a continuing flow of emails to National Geographic News are any indication. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)
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.
An often cited March...