An image claims to show an 11-pound bullfrog captured in Louisiana. Is this photo real or fake?
The photo is real, but demonstrates forced perspective and it wasn’t captured in Louisiana. The frog in the photo is much closer to the camera than the man, giving it the illusion of a very large frog. Let’s take a look at the claim being circulated online:
11 pound bullfrog caught in a ditch near Sulphur, LA WOW!
In examining this image, there are several considerations to make:
- Too Big – According to National Geographic, “The largest of all North American frogs, this giant (bullfrog) can grow to a length of 8 inches (20 centimeters) or more and weigh up to 1.5 pounds (750 grams). ” It’s unlikely to find a specimen weighing 10 times this.
- Photo Hints – You don’t see the man’s hand. In fact, the frog is being held at the end of a gig (a multi-pronged spear) several feet closer to the camera than the man, giving the illusion that the frog is quite large.
- Largest Frogs – The largest frogs in the world are the goliath frogs of West Africa which can weigh up to 7 pounds.
- Wider photo – Looking at the uncropped version of the image (see below) shows the shadow of the gig the man is holding
This photo shows a frog at the end of a multi-pronged spear called a gig, thus the name of the sport called “frog gigging.”
The image appears to have been posted on the SaltyCajun.com message boards back in April 2012. The person posting it stated that it was his friend who gigged it in a friend’s pond in Ponca City, Oklahoma. (Also see this discussion). The original image is a wider shot than the version that is typically circulated, and this wider angle clearly shows the shadow of the gig in the man’s hands.
This is a case of forced perspective. The photo is of a frog held close to the camera at the end of a gig.
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- American Bullfrog (National Geographic)
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- Gigging (Wikipedia)
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