Korean-language social media posts have repeatedly shared a doctored image, claiming it shows an ancient giant’s skeleton discovered in Romania. The unaltered photo was taken by an AFP photographer in June 2008 and in fact shows a skeleton excavated from a sixth-century necropolis in France. The doctored picture was initially posted online as part of an image manipulation contest.
“Nephilim giant tribe discovered in Romania,” reads the Korean-language caption to the image posted here on Naver Band, a South Korean forum, on December 12, 2023.
The supposed discovery of enormous skeletons, usually shared in posts alongside doctored images, have long been a popular hoax, and comments on the false posts suggest they continue to deceive many users (archived link).
“The world is large and there are so many eerie things, like this country of giants,” one user wrote.
“Extraordinary discovery,” another said.
The contest’s rules, as displayed on the website, read: “You are to create an archaeological hoax. Your job is to show a picture of an archaeological discovery that looks so real, had it not appeared at Wortb000, people might have done a double take.”
Below is a screenshot comparison of the doctored image circulating online (left) and the contest entry (right):
A separate reverse image search on the Russian search engine Yandex found the unaltered image is an AFP photo taken in June 2008.
The caption says the photo shows a human skeleton excavated by French archaeologist David Billoin on June 11, 2008 from a sixth-century Merovingian necropolis in Echenoz-la-Méline, France.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the doctored image shared on social media (left) and the AFP photo (right):
Other photos taken by Pachoud capture archaeologists working at the site, and show the true scale of the remains.