Giant Skeleton Hoaxes and Mis-Identifications

I’ve blogged several times about the pictures of giant human skeletons on the web that aren’t what they seem to be. They fall into two categories: hoaxes and mis-identification of the remains of either dinosaurs or (more often) mastodons or mammoths.

I recently came across this site, which conveniently displays several of the most widely circulated phony giant photos. If you go there, please click on the link mentioned in the article that is the source of most of these hoaxed photos: The site runs contests for image fakery. Here is the archaeology archive where you’ll find most of the fake giant photos out there on the web.

I also recently came across a good scholarly article on the other category — mis-identification. It’s by James Howard and entitled, “Fossil Proboscidians and Myths of Giant Men.” It can be downloaded for free.

On the term “proboscidian” (in the context of this post, an animal with a large trunk), here is the entry from


1. pertaining to or resembling a proboscis.

2. having a proboscis.
3. belonging or pertaining to the mammals of the order Proboscidea, characterized by a flexible trunk formed of the nostrils and upper lip, large tusks, a massive body, and columnar legs, comprising the elephant and the now-extinct mammoth and mastodon.

Sanctified Gullibility is Still Gullibility

It doesn’t get much more embarrassing than this.

Jason Colavito has a short write up on how Christian apologists are using a prop — a giant human skeleton that isn’t a skeleton at all — from von Daniken’s ancient astronaut theme park for the gullible.

Since when is defending one’s faith with a lie a good idea?

Pretty pathetic. It leads people to follow several bogus thought trajectories:

1. That belief in a creator needs to be defended via the idea of giants (it doesn’t, and that “approach” is absurd).

2. That belief in a creator is synonymous with young earth creationism and rigid biblical literalism (it isn’t).

3. That those who defend the young earth view of creationism will basically stoop to any level to do so (many would not; that is, they aren’t ethically challenged).

Another Giant Human Skeleton That Isn’t

I’ve blogged before about giant human skeletons that aren’t giant human skeletons. The first two examples I blogged about were hoaxes, created with image editing software (see here and here). The Remnant of the Giants blog recently had an interesting post about a presumed giant human skeleton discovered in Belgium in 1643. Turned out the giant was a mammoth. This is typical, both in the ancient world (as chronicled by Adrienne Mayor) and, as this article points out, in modern times as well.

Alien Fetus in King Tut’s Tomb?

Well . . . half of that is right . . . the fetus part, anyway.

The picture below is often offered as part of the “aliens visited ancient Egypt” paleobabblefest on the internet.

The mummified corpse on the right is said to be alien (“just look at the head and eyes . . . must be alien”).  Alien researchers also like to wonder aloud why the scientific community hides such information and doesn’t just admit it’s proof of aliens.

Is this an alien body?  Nope. And it’s hardly a secret picture, either. The picture can be found in Nicholas Reeves’ book, The Complete Tutankhamen (1990, pp. 124-125), a widely-sold resource on King Tut.

So what is it?  It’s one of two HUMAN CHILD fetuses found in Tut’s tomb. Here is the original in situ photo of the tomb tiny sarcophagi:

The scale of the two small fetuses is perhaps better noted from this (again, hardly secret) photo of Zahi Hawass unwrapping one of the fetuses:

Now here’s a closeup of the unwrapped fetus:

Gosh!  That sure looks like an alien!  Yeah; it looks like an alien all right — unless you’ve ever seen the skull and skeletal remains of a human fetus.  Here are some examples at 21.5, 30, 31, and 34 weeks, respectively. They are all photos of human skeletal recreations created by the same medical supply company that I linked to a few posts ago about elongated skulls.  (And there are more examples at the medical supply link). Everyone that goes through medical school sees skulls and skeletons like this. No news here; no aliens.

Lastly, here’s a set of human fetal skeletal remains with skull at 32 weeks. (And remember, humans aren’t aliens).