A photo allegedly shows a group of people posing with a 22-foot long, 2500-pound giant crocodile. The story accompanying the photo claims that local villagers had to call in the army because people were disappearing due to this creature. Are the photo and story true?
The photo appears to be real, but it uses forced perspective to make the crocodile appear larger than it really is.
Let’s first take a look at what is being circulated. The original 2012 caption read:
The people in a village on the Niger River in Africa were losing fellow villagers at such a rapid rate, that they had to call in the Army to hunt down the culprit: a 22-foot, 2500-pound crocodile.
A later caption stated:
Humans are usually predators, but we can be prey too. The people in a village on the Niger River in Africa were losing fellow villagers at a rapid rate and called in the army, which shot a 7 m, 1200 Kg crocodile.
Because the crocodile is closer to the camera than the villagers behind it, the viewer is given the impression that the creature is enormous. Most estimates are that the creature was about 14 to 16 feet in length, which is still quite large, but far less than the 22-feet estimate that has been claimed.
Another point to consider is that one would expect that if the group had been posing directly behind the creature, someone would have placed a hand or arm on or around the crocodile. That is not the case here because the people are too far behind the animal to pose in such a manner.
Although the above photo received has been circulating since at least January 2012 – along with a consensus that the image is the result of “forced perspective” – the story and exaggerated claims continue to circulate.
The photo showing a group of villagers posing behind a massive crocodile is real, but due to the group’s distance behind the creature, the animal looks larger than it actually is due to “forced perspective.”