Fact check: Images of alleged giant human skeletons are altered

Posts in a Facebook group for flat earth conspiracy theorists claim to show images of colossal human remains. Shared as alleged proof that gigantic humans once roamed the planet, these pictures have been altered and are part of an Internet hoax that has been around for more than 15 years.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Two Facebook posts sharing allegedly authentic videos of giant skeletons can be found  here and here in a group called “Ancient Giant Tree Truth.” 

As explained here in a previous Reuters Fact Check, the group speak to a belief among Flat Earthers, conspiracy theorists who contend that our planet is not a globe but a flat surface (here), that “real” trees no longer exist.   

Followers of this conspiracy contend not only that “the trees we see now are small ersatz versions of giant, 20-mile-high trees that used to exist on earth in ancient times,” as related in a Quartz article here , but also that giants who once roamed the earth were the ones who cut them down.   

A 2007 article in National Geographic states that “rampant reports and pictures” of alleged giant skeletons, which it describes as obvious “photo fakery,” have led to “a continuing flow of emails to National Geographic News” from “around the globe” (here). In the article, National Geographic debunks many of these photos and surrounding claims.  

The first image of an alleged giant’s remains (here) can be found here as “Photoshop Submission for 'Size Matters 4' Contest, Design 8854061.” The caption under the entry reads, “Whitmath57, an American designer, created this Photoshop on 14th August, 2011 for DesignCrowd (Community Contests), a business in Australia. The Photoshop was designed for the project 'Size Matters 4'. It was awarded 3 out of 5 stars.”  

As pointed out here on the blog Hoax-Slayer, the second image (here), which appeared in a false news story on a Bosnian website in 2015 (here), is a combination of two images: a photo of a very old but normal-sized female skeleton (here) and a photo of archaeologists excavating a dinosaur fossil in 2013 (here).   

As seen in active Facebook groups such as “The Flat Earth Nephilim Hybrid Giants Biblical truth,” which has nearly 7,000 members and can be found here , certain flat earthers believe that a group of giant people known as the Nephilim once inhabited the earth and cut down the colossal trees, leaving stumps that the general public understands as geological formations like Devils Tower in Wyoming and Giant’s Causeway in Ireland ( here , here ).  

According to believers, the Vatican is concealing archaeological evidence of these giant humans’ existence ( here , here ).  

As explained by the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Nephilim are described in the Hebrew Bible as “a group of mysterious beings or people of unusually large size and strength who lived both before and after the Flood” (here). The Nephilim are referenced in both Genesis and Numbers.  

A scholarly explanation of such Internet theories’ Biblical origins can be found here in a 2015 article titled “The Embarrassing and Alluring Biblical Giant,” written by Brian Doak, professor of Biblical studies at George Fox University in northwest Oregon (here).  


False. These images of alleged giant skeletons have been are altered and are part of a longstanding Internet hoax.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .