Thursday, July 9, 2015

This is not an 11 Foot Rattlesnake from George West: a KHOU Media Fail.

I found your web site and read through it to learn about "fake" snake photos.  This one my mother recently sent to me through Facebook.  She is determined that this snake real and it is over 10'.  By looking at the photo with details you described I'm trying to break it down, however it does appear the tail of the snake is no more than 1-2' away from the man holding it so I can't assume this is a camera trick?  Any suggesting?

Best,
Rebecca B.


is this real

Gwendoline B.

FYI. Will look forward to your debunking. Which I will circulate to the people who circulated this one.

Don K.

    I get sent a lot of pictures of people holding dead rattlesnakes. A lot of them. I don't post them all here because who cares? I'm not particularly interested in people's trophy shots. I write blog posts about pictures that go viral so we can set the record straight.

   I was sent this picture a few times but there was no information attached. So, what can I say about it? I've written before that when people send me a picture of a snake and ask, "is this real?" what they're really asking me is, "Is this snake as big as I perceive it to be?" And that can be difficult to answer. Even when people know about the camera tricks that people use to make snakes look bigger (like the first letter writer), they can still be duped. Anyway, my point is that there wasn't much for me to include in a blog post.

    Cue KHOU News, the CBS affiliate from Houston Texas, who posted the picture to their Facebook page with the following text:

"An 11-foot rattlesnake was caught just outside of George West, Texas, about 85 miles south of San Antonio on June 26."

    Thank you KHOU News for: 


A) believing that a picture floating around the internet was a valid source of "news".

B) reporting that someone found the world's largest rattlesnake without even a cursory attempt at fact-checking.

C) spreading fear and misinformation instead of facts and news.

   This was really a lazy and irresponsible move by KHOU and they should be ashamed.

    I really don't have anything to say about this snake that I haven't said elsewhere a million times. This is a regular-sized Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes don't get 11 feet long and no rattlesnake ever measured has gotten even close to that length.  And finally, when you pick something up with a long pole and hoist it towards the camera, things look bigger than they really are. Don't believe it. Please provide a link to this post wherever you see this picture.

No comments: