On July 24, 2012, an image of a man holding a giant toad was posted on the Chiricahua Desert Museum Facebook page, with an extended caption that tells about a 57-pound toad that had been responsible for the disappearance of small animals in Rodeo, New Mexico. Is the photo real or a hoax?
The museum finally admitted that it’s a hoax, but as that comment was pushed back further, people continued to speculate if the image was real or not.
Even without their admission, you can enlarge the photo to see rather unnatural (Photoshopped) edges on as the toad and man’s images overlap. Take a look at the enlargement of a section of the image:
The museum hasn’t commented on the photo since they published it, but the sentiment on their Facebook page‘s comments ranges from skeptical to angry. The caption they published with the photo reads:
For almost two months now families in and around the border town of Rodeo, NM have been seeing their small dogs and cats go missing. A mountain lion was thought to be the culprit but after the discovery of this giant Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius) yesterday outside the Chiricahua Desert Museum the locals are sure that this toad is responsible for the loss of their pets and they are hopping mad. This toad weighed in at 57 pounds, that was after it dispensed about 2 gallons of urine during its capture. The Sonoran Desert toad is the largest native toad to North American but does not typically get any larger than about 1.5 pounds and a length of 7.5 inches so this is most definitely a new world record, probably?
Other things to consider are that the man in the photo hardly seems to be straining as he holds this weighty object. The toad also appears to cast no shadow on the ground at all. The toad seems perfectly content to be held like this, which seems odd. Finally, Sonoran Desert Toads simply don’t get that big. The largest toads in the world may approach 7 pounds, but that’s a far cry from the 57 pounds suggested here. This type of toad can reach 7 or more inches, but if you take a look at this page with a “huge” Sonoran Desert Toad, you can see it’s easily held in a woman’s hands.
We call it a hoax, and look forward to seeing what the museum will say in response to the outcry following the publication of this image. We’ll update this story as more details come in.
What do you think of this image?
If you want to see images of the REAL world’s largest frog, read Is This the World’s Largest Frog?